The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation has released a global blueprint for boosting food production in developing countries.

Written by world experts on rural development, this ‘Beijing Consensus’ says governments should “give priority to public expenditures on public goods for rural areas such as roads, information technology and other rural infrastructure as well as research, extension training and education”.

A key issue, it said, is integrating small-scale producers into larger scale distribution and retail chains serving developing countries’ booming urban areas. Without this, globalisation and the emergence of supermarkets could “de-link food consumption from local production”, preventing small producers from serving this demand.