Food price explosion ‘will devastate the world’s poor’

Saturday, June 18, 2011
By Paul Martin

After a 40% rise in global prices over the past year, droughts and floods threaten to seriously damage this year’s harvest

Rupert Neate
Guardian.co.uk
Friday 17 June 2011

Food prices will soar by as much as 30% over the next 10 years, the United Nations and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have predicted.

Angel GurrĂ­a, secretary-general of the OECD, said that any further increase in global food prices, which have risen by 40% over the past year, will have a “devastating” impact on the world’s poor and is likely to lead to political unrest, famine and starvation. “People are going to be forced either to eat less or find other sources of income.”

The joint UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and OECD report predicted that the cost of cereals is likely to increase by 20% and the price of meat, particularly chicken, may soar by up to 30%.

World food prices are already at a near-record high as droughts and floods threaten to seriously damage this year’s harvest. The report said the global harvest is in a “critical” condition and warned that prices will continue to rise until depleted stocks are rebuilt.

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