This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
The United Nations says forty million more people around the world went hungry this year, mainly because of higher food prices. Early estimates from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization show that nine hundred sixty-three million people did not get enough to eat. That represents fourteen percent of the world population. World food prices have dropped since early this year. But FAO official Hafez Ghanem says lower prices have failed to end the food crisis in many poor countries. "For millions in developing countries," he says, "eating the minimum amount of food every day to live an active and healthy life is a distant dream." This year`s report on food insecurity warns that the current economic crisis could send even more people into hunger and poverty. Prices of major cereal crops have decreased by more than half from their highs earlier this year. But they remain high compared to earlier years. Seed and fertilizer prices have more than doubled since two thousand six. As a result, the FAO says cereal production in developing countries may increase just one percent this year.