As world leaders met at the United Nations to discuss action against hunger and poverty, the director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) called for increased investment in agriculture and rural areas of developing countries to improve economic opportunities and reduce hunger where most of the world's poor live.

Jacques Diouf said: “Despite a growing body of evidence that shows most poor and hungry people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, many developing countries continue to spend far too little on agriculture and rural development. In countries where undernourishment is most widespread, the share of government spending devoted to agriculture falls far short of matching the sector's importance in the economy.”

According to one FAO study, countries which performed best in terms of reducing undernourishment had realized significantly higher investment and productivity in agriculture than others.