A senior executive at Cargill, the world’s biggest trader in agricultural commodities, has described as “nonsense” the notion that countries should become self-sufficient to improve food security.

Cargill senior vice president Paul Conway said open trade of food surpluses was the only way to deal with concerns over food security.

“Not all countries can single-handedly be self-sufficient in all food commodities,” he said, claiming governments had become “unduly complacent” on the issue.

He warned that there would be further upward pressure on prices in the next few years due to rising populations and the greater use of biofuels, according to the Financial Times. If host countries felt threatened by a local or global food crisis, they were likely to impose export bans, he said.

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