By Tomoyuki Tachikawa
L'AQUILA, Italy -(Dow Jones)- Japan is considering providing around $3 billion to $4 billion in order to boost food productivity in the developing world, a senior Japanese government official said Thursday.
The country will make the final decision on Friday, he told Dow Jones Newswires on the condition of anonymity. Leaders from the Group of Eight rich nations and a number of leaders from large developing economies and Africa will then discuss food security on the final day of a three-day meeting.
Food security has become an important focus in Africa after food shortages and rising prices last year caused riots across the continent, sparking concerns over political and economic stability.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who is hosting the summit in L'Aquila, Tuesday said Group of Eight leaders were hoping to approve agriculture investments worth between $10 billion and $15 billion to ensure food security in developing nations.
Tokyo is now preparing to expand Official development assistance to support agricultural technology innovations and improve social infrastructure in such areas, which in turn could help activate private agricultural investment, the Japanese official said.In an editorial published in the Financial Times Monday, Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said he would make a new proposal to promote responsible foreign investment in agriculture in the face of so-called land grabs - a growing trend for large-scale investment in farmland in the developing world.