WASHINGTON, April 8, 2013 – As the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty convened this week in Washington, DC, The World Bank Group issued the following statement:
"By 2050, the world will have two billion more people to feed. To do that, global agricultural production will need to increase by 70 percent. That calls for substantial new investment in agriculture-- in smallholders and large farms—from both the public and private sectors.
But investment alone will not be enough. High and volatile food and fuel prices and the effects of climate change and scarce resources make the challenge even more daunting. Unless crop yields can be raised, many people will remain hungry, under-nourished, and unable to seize opportunities to improve their lives.
Usable land is in short supply, and there are too many instances of speculators and unscrupulous investors exploiting smallholder farmers, herders, and others who lack the power to stand up for their rights. This is particularly true in countries with weak land governance systems.
“The World Bank Group shares these concerns about the risks associated with large-scale land acquisitions,” said World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim. “Securing access to land is critical for millions of poor people. Modern, efficient, and transparent policies on land rights are vital to reducing poverty and promoting growth, agriculture production, better nutrition, and sustainable development...
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The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.
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