London: The number of hungry people in India has increased by 65 million -- more than the population of France -- because economic development excluded the ruralpoor, and welfare programmes failed to reach them, according to charity organisation Oxfam. In a report titled `Growing a better future`, it said today that India`s economy doubled in size from 1990 to 2005, but the number of hungry in the country had risen by 65million during the period. Oxfam also warned that average prices of staple crops will more than double in 20 years if urgent action is not taken to change the international food system, which isalready failing to feed nearly a billion people a day. Oxfam research forecasts that average international prices of key staples, such as maize, will increase by between 120 and 180 per cent by 2030, with up to half of this increasedue to climate change. The world`s poorest people, who spend up to 80per cent of their income on food, will be hit hardest. An Oxfam release says that decades of steady progress in the fight against hunger is now being allegedly reversed as demand outpaces food production.
"If the political will is there, no one will be denied their fundamental human right to be free from hunger." PTI
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