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Food Supply

Volume 884: debated on Thursday 23 January 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, following the World Food Conference in November 1974, he is now able to estimate the probable effect of the forecast growth of world population and agricultural production over the next 10 years on the food requirements of the United Kingdom.

The Secretariat of the World Food Conference estimated that if past growth rates continued for the next 10 years, production of food for the world as a whole should keep pace with demand. However, it also estimated that there would be a broad imbalance between developed countries, where production would increase faster than demand, and developing countries, where demand would exceed production. The actual out-turn of events will depend upon policies adopted throughout the world and on climatic conditions over the next few years. A major theme of the conference was the need to increase agricultural production in developing countries. It would seem likely that over the next decade the United Kingdom will have no serious difficulty in meeting its requirements for imported food.