‘World food prices doubled in past three years’

June 26th, 2008 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) The world food prices have roughly doubled over the past three years, while witnessing an alarming 85 percent jump between April 2007 and April 2008, according to a UN agency. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) statement posted on its website said that the present crisis is the result of many factors, including declining agricultural productivity in many developing countries and rising demand.

The effects of the rising demand, largely due to population growth, urbanisation and rapid economic development in East and Southeast Asia, were amplified by recent droughts, slow supply response, the weakening of dollar, high energy prices and concerns over increased demand for biofuels.

The export restrictions in many states and market speculation have exacerbated the crisis.

“It is probably no coincidence that global food prices surged in the wake of the global financial volatility sparked by last year’s collapse in the US sub-prime mortgage market,” Unctad said.

The current price boom applies to all commodities, not just food. “No single factor has been responsible. Rather, different factors have been of varying importance for different food items,” the report said.

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