The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has asked the world's richest countries to stop giving financial help to their farmers. If they do, they may help to prevent famine in Africa. Mr Annan said that governments had to deal with the other reasons for famine as well as the lack of food itself.
This report from Yousef Anani:
Mr Annan told the group of the world's eight richest nations that their food subsidies - which total three hundred billion dollars a year - were stifling agricultural production in Africa. He said the lack of sustainable food production was contributing to severe shortages which threatened more than thirty million Africans with starvation.
Developing countries struggle to sell their produce to highly protected markets like Japan and the European Union because they don't enjoy the kind of subsidies that allow those countries' farmers to sell food more cheaply. To add insult to injury, they also have to contend with cheap imports from the same rich countries into their own markets, leaving them without any livelihood. Mr Annan said the way that agricultural trade was structured was just as responsible for famine in Africa as the lack of food itself.