Africa Needs ‘Green Revolution’ to Buffer Food Prices, Lula Says

African countries should pursue a “green revolution” to protect the world’s poorest continent from rising global food prices, said former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“There can be no sovereignty without food sovereignty,” he told a meeting of the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, today. “I am convinced that Africa has all the conditions necessary to follow the path trailed by Brazil, with the promotion of a green revolution.”

An index of 55 food commodities climbed 3.4 percent to a record 231 points in January from a month earlier, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization. Prices rose 25 percent in 2010, sparking concern of a return to high costs that hindered economies and caused riots in 2008.

Lula urged African countries to unite politically and distance themselves from “the major world powers” by forging ties with other developing nations. “Those who give us lessons on how to manage our own economies were not able to avoid the crisis that overtook their own countries and from there, all of humanity,” he said.

The former leader, who said he visited 29 African countries during his eight-year term, said the continent “has more relevance than ever” to other developing nations like Brazil.

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