The U.N.'s food agency said on Wednesday this year's forecasts for global food production were positive overall but warned that some areas would likely to struggle due to armed conflict and displacement.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation's report forecasts “a record increase of 3.2 per cent in world cereal production in 2012, mainly on the strength of a bumper maize crop in the United States”. “Wheat and coarse grains prices eased in May, mostly during the second half, driven by good supply prospects,” said the FAO.

Despite the positive trend, “several regions of the world are expected to struggle with the consequences of poor rainfall, severe weather, armed conflict and displacement,” the Rome-based agency said. Countries in the Sahel continue to face serious challenges to food security due to locally high food prices and civil strife, it said, adding that Syria and Yemen are also experiencing increasing difficulties. “The situation in Yemen and Syria reminds us of the clear link between food security and peace. Internal conflict is causing food insecurity. But it works the other way around as well.”

“Throughout the world we see crisis after crisis caused, in its entirety or in part, by the lack of food or disputes over natural resources, especially land and water,” it said.

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