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Better diets in India behind world food crisis: Rice
April 29, 2008 17:31 IST
The "improvement in the diets of people in India and China", which is forcing the governments there to keep food "inside" is a cause for the current global supply shortage, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] has said.
In an interactive session at the Peace Corps 2008 Country Directors Conference, Rice said the ongoing food crisis was mainly due to "four causes", even as she specifically pointed out the exchange rate and the simple "inability" of getting food to the people.
"There are, kind of, four causes that we really have to look at. We've got to understand better what is happening in some conflict areas in terms of the distribution of food. It's obvious that there are places like Sudan, where we've had a sudden uptick in the inability to distribute food," Rice said.
The top Bush administration official said: "We obviously have to look at places where production seems to be declining and declining to the point that people are actually putting export caps on the amount of food.
"Now, some of that is not so much declining production as apparently improvement in the diets of people, for instance, in China and India, and then pressures to keep food inside the country. So, that's another element that we have to look at," she said.
The "incredible cost" that fuel prices, everything from fertilizer to transportation costs, was bringing on the ability to distribute or to get food to people, was identified as another factor by Rice.
The fourth factor was the one relating to "biofuels", which was "not a large part of the problem, but it may, in fact, be a part of the problem," she added.