The G8 summit has pledged US$20bn to boost agricultural production in some of the world's poorest countries over the next three years.

The initiative will focus on farm aid to increase food production, although emergency food assistance will also be provided.

A statement released after Friday's (10 July) talks said that the G8 nations - including representatives from the US, EU and Japan - had committed to a strategy "focused on sustainable agriculture development, while keeping a strong commitment to adequate emergency food aid assistance".

The statement added that underinvestment in the agricultural sector, commodity price volatility and the economic crisis had sharpened poverty and hunger in developing countries.