Rising food prices… Fear of worsening world hunger | economy

According to experts, there are 3 main reasons for the spread of hunger in the world, namely conflict, global warming and economic crises exacerbated by the outbreak of the Corona virus.

According to the indicators of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the prices of basic foodstuffs have risen by 30% in one year. This increase comes in addition to the health crisis the world is facing, which is causing inflation that mainly threatens a third of the world’s population, which is already being food insecure.

Mathilde Gerard says in a report in the French newspaper “Le Monde” that food prices in the world have risen in a way not seen in 10 years, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced in its monthly report in November that this prices have reached their highest level since July 2011.

This indicator, which is based on a survey of the state of world markets and the prices of basic materials such as grains, sugar, meat, milk and its derivatives, showed an increase of more than 30% in just 12 months, raising fears among experts for a protracted economic and food crisis, at a time when the world is still struggling to get out of it. As a result of the Corona pandemic, many countries are forced to continue to impose health measures and restrictions.

The author cautions that this food price inflation comes at a time when about a tenth of the world’s population is starving, and about a third of the population is food insecure, meaning they don’t have the ability to get adequate nutrition on a regular basis. base.

Hunger..a time bomb

In addition to the job losses and income sources hit by the corona crisis, food price inflation is creating a time bomb called hunger.

Valentin Prochard, an activist with the Earth Solidarity Association in France, says: “The red lights went out and we are now in a state of emergency as famine has clearly increased and the problem of food insecurity in the north of the world, not just in the south, as the rural population They suffer from vulnerable conditions and lack the support of the state in the face of their suffering from the Corona pandemic, and therefore there is a crisis within the crisis that is about to form in this rural area.

The writer explains that the reasons for the increase in food prices are mainly due to the increase in energy costs since 2020 and the cost of fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture.

In recent years, climate disasters related to global warming, such as droughts and floods, have increased. In addition, more and more farmers are turning to a new option in agriculture that focuses on generating energy, rather than growing food. .

The reasons for the increase in food prices are mainly due to the increase in energy costs since 2020 (Getty Images)

The crisis of animal and agricultural production

Behind every commodity are many factors that affect productivity, and the wheat sector saw poor harvests in North America in 2021.

Global palm oil production also fell significantly, due to the labor shortage in Malaysia, leading to a 9.6% increase in the cost of vegetable oils between September and October.

Sugarcane production was also affected by weather fluctuations and extreme cold spells in Brazil, the largest exporter of this substance.

The author points to another reason that has also led to price increases, namely the disproportion between supply and demand during the epidemic, as production and supply chains suffered from logistical difficulties or difficulties in finding labour.

Rob Voss – of the Institute for International Food Policy Research – warns that rising prices are a cause for concern as most of the world’s population is switching to cheaper food options, which are often more harmful to health.

He adds that the emphasis is usually on grain prices when we talk about food security, but nowadays we see that there is also an increase in the prices of fruit and vegetables.

Population threatened with famine

To calculate the exact cost of a balanced diet, William Masters and his colleagues at Tufts University in Massachusetts established standards that the United Nations relied on to estimate that approximately 3 billion people on Earth, or 40%, lack purchasing power. for a healthy and balanced diet.

And the paper quotes Nin Waring, an economist with the World Food Program as saying: “There are three main reasons for the spread of hunger in the world, namely conflict, global warming and economic crises exacerbated by the outbreak of the Corona virus. virus.”

The expert adds that food prices play an important role in aggravating this situation, as a significant part of the population has been forced to make concessions to diet for about two years, due to job losses and lower incomes, and at the same time as the rise in prices.

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