The need to create necessary infrastructure to increase food production was stressed by ITC Agri Business Division Chief Executive S. Sivakumar as he spoke on “Food Prices – from crisis to stability” at a seminar at the National Institute of Nutrition here on Sunday organised as part of the World Food Day celebrations.

An estimated nine billion people should be provided with food globally by the year 2050 and absence of corresponding growth in supply would lead to escalation of prices of food items. “The supply-demand mismatch has already resulted in the unprecedented hike in food prices in 2007 which is still continuing,” he said.

The seminar was organised by the Association of Food Scientists and Technologies (India), Oil Technologists Association of India and National Institute of Nutrition.

The ITC senior functionary stressed the need to expand irrigation facilities to meet the ever-growing requirements. Increasing production, according to him, was a long-term solution.

The Hindu Business Line associate editor G. Chandrasekhar opined that flow of speculative capital on a huge scale into commodity markets was one of the drivers of price volatility.