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SPECIAL REPORTS

India & China to be food importers, Russia, US to be exporters by 2050
Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has said that India and China could become net importers of grains and meat while Russia, Canada and the US could be big exporters by 2050.

It predicted that growing demand and limited potential to increase supply will force Asian economies, including India and China, to become net importers of grains and meat if there are no changes in the pressures on the food supply and policies.

According to Mark Rosegrant, director, environment and production technology division, IFPRI, in the next 40 years traditional suppliers of certain cereals will change and so will food preferences in Asia as economic prosperity will wean people off a grain-rich to a more diversified diet.

It is anticipated that for Asian countries, consumption of rice will continue to decline, as in the case of Vietnam, from 168 kg per capita in 2000 to 119 kg per capita in 2050.

If agricultural production and policy-making work in the present form, or worsen, then, there could be severe consequences for many poor people in developing countries.

The repercussion could be that Asian countries could end up exporting bigger quantities of rice mostly to African countries.

The demand for staples is expected to grow in least developed countries, but demand for maize and other coarse grains to produce bio-fuels will grow substantially in developed countries as well, the projections show.

Meanwhile, USA, Canada and Russia will be able to sustain their production and remain big exporters.
 
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