According to the
latest figures of the World Bank Group, rising food prices have pushed an
estimated 44 million people into poverty in developing countries since June
2010 as food costs continue to rise to near 2008 levels.
The latest edition of Food
Price Watch shows that its food price index rose by 15 percent between
October 2010 and January 2011.
In a worst-case
scenario, we could see unprecedented food prices and more political instability
, says Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute: “If the
world has a poor harvest this year, food prices will rise to previously
unimaginable levels. Food riots will multiply, political unrest will spread and
governments will fall. The world is now one poor harvest away from chaos in
world grain markets”.
There are several drivers
of this global food crisis but experts are divided on the role of each of these
drivers. The high price of oil, climate change, biofuels policies, food
hoarding by governments in the Middle East and China and bad water policies are all
mentioned by experts as playing a major part.