JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- A plan to improve agriculture in poor countries through private investment won a tepid welcome Friday from humanitarian agencies, which said the Group of 8 major industrialized nations should stick to its previous commitment to donate $7.3 billion a year.
The G-8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition announced Friday to fight global hunger calls on multinational corporations to invest $3 billion in agriculture in developing countries, mainly in Africa. But aid agencies questioned whether the money would reach the small farms that grow most of the continent's food.
With more than half Africa’s population living on $1.25 a day and a quarter suffering chronic hunger, fostering a “green revolution” across the continent is seen as the way to lift populations out of poverty and to provide adequate nutrition.
But global climate change has hit hard in many African countries, making some farm areas marginal and forcing food prices up. Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, increasing the intense pressure on food resources.