Another Food Crisis Is Likely to Spur Revolution in the Developing World

Friday, October 19, 2012
By Paul Martin


With another food crisis is in the works, revolution becomes a likelihood in some parts of the world.

We would like to draw readers’ attention to the fact that the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations) Food Price Index hit a near-high in September. The cereals portion of the Index was 263, just a hair below the peak reached in April 2008, when food riots were sparked across the developing world.

Of all the food groups, cereals are particularly significant to the people of the world, primarily because of the many developing nations where cereal imports are critical for food security, and where most of the imports are consumed directly rather than being processed into further commercial foodstuffs as in the developed countries.

The availability and price of cereals is a matter of grave concern for many nations. They consume cereals as the basis of their diet. So while a spike in wheat prices will add only pennies to the cost of an American loaf of bread, most of which is comprised of manufacturing, transport, and marketing expenses, a spike in wheat prices can mean the difference between sufficiency and hunger for citizens of many countries in the Middle East, the Caribbean, East Asia, and Africa. As we saw during the Arab Spring, when food prices create social instability in geopolitically sensitive areas, the consequences can be severe for all members of the global community. We believe that the full ramifications of the Arab Spring have not yet been felt in the world and that they will be felt in many ways over coming years and decades.

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