Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Food Price Crisis

Photo by Walter Siegmund

On 15 May 2009, the BBC World Service index of retail food prices showed that basic food prices worldwide have gone up 8% in the last 10 months. (Food prices vary but crisis remains)

The index is based on eight cities, including Washington, Nairobi and Buenos Aires.

In Nairobi, in Kenya, where many people earn only one US dollar a day, there was a rise of almost 50% in the price of food in the last 10 months.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation index shows food prices nearly 50% higher than in 2003. The price of cereals is up 80% since 2003.

ActionAid International predicts that about 17 million people in Kenya are now in danger of starvation.

"Agricultural yields in Africa have... fallen in some cases by up to 50 per cent as a result of invasive pests, land degradation, erosion, drought and climate change, according to the report, released .... by the UN Environment Programme...

"Reversing environmental degradation and 'investing in ... forests, soils and water bodies is one part of the ... solution...The other key is managing them and the food chain in far more efficient ways.'

"Over half of food produced worldwide is lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency..."

Reform Vital To Avert Looming African Food Crisis


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