Almost one billion people, one in every seven people in the world, do not have access to adequate levels of food.
The reasons why food prices are rising and why so many people are hungry include:
- High oil prices have increased the costs of producing and transporting food.
- Climate change and global warming have been linked to more frequent, widespread and intense droughts leading to increased crop failure.
- Increased biofuel production from food crops has resulted in higher prices for staples like maize (corn), rice and wheat.
- Export restrictions on food and reduced grain stocks have contributed to higher prices.
- Dramatic economic growth in China, India and other developing countries has resulted in higher demand for food and energy.
- Population growth means that more food is needed. On the flip side, increasing urbanisation means that far fewer people are growing their own food.
- Speculation by investors in food and industrial commodities markets in recent years has added to price rises.
- Agricultural productivity is declining and this has been linked to factors such as the declining availability of water for irrigation and higher petroleum prices.
This was originally published on the 30th of March 2012.