New York, NY (BBN) – Urgent changes in global agricultural policies are needed to meet the threats of soaring food and energy prices, the United Nations General Assembly President said on Friday more

Reducing subsidies, lifting tariffs and other trade barriers would stimulate food production and offer a route to development for 180 million small farmers in Africa, Srgjan Kerim told Member States as the Assembly met to discuss the two global crises, a U.N. press statement said.

Kerim also said that an urgent and mandatory step at the global level was to ensure a successful outcome to the Doha Round of international trade talks.

The rise in food and oil prices could severely weaken the economies of up to 75 developing countries, the president said quoting research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He added that the World Bank estimated that rising costs could reduce the gross domestic product (GDP) of up to 50 countries by 3 to 10 per cent, pushing at least 100 million people into poverty.