Blog about the upcoming food shortage crisis

Everybody throws stones at the prophet, but when the crisis comes they yell: “Why nobody warned us?”

Rising food prices may help farmers, production -FAO Reuters

Tuesday March 4 2008

By Wael Gamal
CAIRO, March 4 (Reuters) – Food prices should rise for two more seasons, but a boost in farm income may spur production, especially in the Third World, a U.N. official said on Tuesday.
“It (food prices) will continue to rise for one or two seasons at least,” Mohammad Saeid Noori-Naeeni, independent chairman of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Council, told Reuters.
Between January 2007 and January 2008, the FAO food price index increased 47 percent, mainly driven by soaring prices of cereal products and vegetable oils, which rose 62 percent and 85 percent respectively.
“We have to look to the rise as an opportunity. If you could pass through these increases to the farmers, then production will increase,” Noori-Naeeni said on the sidelines of the FAO’s 29th Regional Conference for the Near East.
“This could mean relaunching agriculture in developing countries through long-term public investments and programmes, catalysing private-sector investments in response to higher profitability,” he added.
The FAO estimates that globally 862 million people were undernourished in the period from 2002 to 2004, of which 830 million were in developing countries, a situation that could be aggravated by recent unprecedented rises in food prices.
“Without increasing productivity, everybody will suffer and only a few will gain,” Noori-Naeeni said.
UNSTABLE NEAR EAST
The production of cereals in the Near East increased to 180 million tonnes in the year 2005/6, 7 percent up from 2004/5 but the percentage of people hunger increased to 15 percent from 13 percent. It did not say when the years began.
“The situation remains unstable because of the highly uncertain climatic conditions,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told delegates from 32 countries meeting in Cairo.
According to the FAO, challenges for food production in the region also include water shortages, land degradation and bird flu.
“But increased revenues from oil exports could provide an excellent opportunity to boost public investment in agriculture,” Diouf added.
Investment in agriculture, both domestic and foreign, remains low in most countries of the region, dropping 27 percent between 1995 and 2004 in countries which do not export oil. (Writing by Wael Gamal; editing by Michael Roddy)

source 

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March 4, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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