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Christian aid group calls for help to small farms

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Christian aid group wants the G-8 to support small farms globally.
A Christian aid group wants the G-8 to support small farms globally.

Bread for the World, a Christian antipoverty agency, is calling on the agriculture ministers of the world's eight richest countries, called the G-8, to provide more resources to small farmers in order to avert a permanent food crisis.

The agriculture ministers of the G-8 are meeting in Italy this weekend to discuss global food supply. According to a report leaked to the Financial Times newspaper, food production globally must double by 2050 in order to feed the growing population.

"Averting a permanent food crisis will require more than doubling agricultural output. Who produces food is as important as how much is produced," said Reverend David Beckmann, the group's president.

Beckman said more resources should be made available to small subsistence farmers throughout the world, not just large agribusinesses in the U.S. and elsewhere.

There are up to 525 million small farms in the world, the majority of them less than five acres. They are operated mainly as traditional farms, without heavy farm equipment like tractors or combines.

Beckmann said the food crisis caused by rising commodity prices and other global disruptions has pushed more than 130 million people into hunger.

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