It is a crisis of almost biblical proportions. With almost one billion people living with permanent hunger, ministers from the world's largest producers and consumers of food meet in Italy this weekend to avert a permanent food crisis on an unprecedented scale. A report prepared by the G8 for its first ever Food Summit meeting warns of "structural" problems in world food markets that risk war and famine – unless food output is doubled in 20 years: "Immediate interventions" are required.
This weekend the first meeting of the G8's agriculture ministers will be held in the north Italian province of Treviso. They will be joined by their counterparts from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, Australia and Egypt. Food security and measures to boost farming output will be at the top of their agenda.