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Human and natural crises threaten the food supply.
From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.
The United Nations reports that more than 3.3 million people are now experiencing food insecurity in Sudan. That number is expected to rise soon to 4 million. About 11 percent of the country’s estimated 34 million people would be affected. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency, or FAO, says fighting, displacement and poor harvests prevent many people from receiving food. Rosanne Marchesich represents the FAO in Sudan. She says Sudan’s harvest has ended early and the amount of locally available food is decreased. She says food support is needed in millions of Sudanese homes. She says conflicts in the Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur areas have added to food insecurity. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the violence. Ms. Marchesich says poor weather conditions also affect food security. Long, extremely dry periods in Sudan are followed by floods. Low food supplies in parts of Sudan have caused a sudden rise in food prices. Meat prices, for example, are up 84 percent. Vegetable prices have risen by 40 percent. And the cost of transporting food has increased by 70 percent. Conflict in neighboring South Sudan also hurts the food situation. Refugees continue to cross the border and enter camps in Sudan. The FAO official says it is very important to continue to provide the camp populations with seeds and farm supplies. And the refugees need the same when they return home. Ms. Marchesich says Sudan needs thousands of metric tons of seed and almost 1 million agricultural tools.