Food Price Crisis Persists for World’s Poorest

Food prices in poor countries that are net importers of food still remain stubbornly high despite a good 2009 world cereal production, reports the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which tracks global food security.

Critical food insecurity is affecting 31 countries and they therefore require emergency assistance. In Eastern Africa, the situation is particularly serious as drought and conflict has put an estimated 20 million people in need of food aid.

Although international food prices have fallen significantly since their peaks a couple of years ago, wheat and maize prices strengthened in October and rice export prices are still way above pre-crisis levels, the FAO said. The data is contained in the organization’s latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/012/ak340e/ak340e00.htm

“For the world’s poorest people who spend up to 80 percent of their household budgets on food, the food price crisis is not over yet,” said FAO Assistant Director General Hafez Ghanem. “It is now a global priority to increase investment in developing country agriculture in order to fight poverty and hunger”.

Increasing investment in agriculture in an environmentally sustainable way to increase the incomes of rural farming families is at the heart of CRS’ food crisis response strategy. Read more about it here: http://www.crsprogramquality.org/2009/04/agriculture-strategy/

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