London — The poorest countries risk a greater dependence on food imports unless more is invested in their rural agriculture industries as people move toward cities, according to the UN. As urban populations rise, diets are changing and consumption of foods like meat, fruit and vegetables are set to rise, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. To meet that extra demand, rural areas will need more investment both on and off farms to improve output and sustainability. Less-developed nations will add about 1 billion people by 2030, with the fastest increase taking place in urban areas, according to the FAO. In places like sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, small-scale and family farmers produce 80% of food supplies, while urban areas consume the bulk. "If farming systems are able to satisfy the emerging demand, urbanization will become an opportunity for more-inclusive growth in rural areas," the Rome-based FAO said in a report. "If not, urbanisation will open the doors to i...

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