Sunday, March 4, 2012

International food crisis due to agribusinesses and speculation

The international development charity Oxfam issued a report this month highlighting the growing global food crisis.

The report, “Growing a Better Future: Food justice in a resource constrained world,” warns in direct terms, “We have entered an age of crisis: of food price spikes and oil price hikes; of scrambles for land and water; of creeping, insidious climate change”.

The report (available here) outlines a bleak future for billions of the world’s poor. Among the most important conclusions in the report is the warning that food prices will likely double in the next 20 years.

The 2008 food price spike pushed around 100 million extra people into poverty, while the current spike has pushed 44 million more into poverty so far this year. In 2009 the number of hungry people in the world reached a record one billion, a sixth of the world’s population. The recent spike means it is again above one billion.

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) also published a report last month, “The Food Price Rollercoaster”. It charts world food prices over the last four years. Read more......

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