Global Food crisis: “World one poor harvest away from chaos”

17/02/2011

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.

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