BeijingIncome growth, climate change, high energy prices, globalization, and urbanization are all converging to transform food production, markets, and consumption, according to a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). As a result, global food demand and prices are likely to rise, threatening the livelihoods and nutrition of poor people in developing countries. The report, The World Food Situation: New Driving Forces and Required Actions, was released today at the annual general meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Food prices have been steadily decreasing since the Green Revolution, but the days of falling food prices may be over, said Joachim von Braun, lead author of the report and director general of IFPRI. Surging demand for feed, food, and fuel have recently led to drastic price increases, which are not likely to fall in the foreseeable future, due to low stocks and slow-growing supplies of agricultural outputs. Climate change will also have a negative impact on food production, compounding the challenge of meeting global food demand, and potentially exacerbating hunger and malnutrition among the worlds poorest people.
Economic growth has helped to reduce hunger, particularly when it is equitable, added von Braun. But unfortunately, growth does not always reach the poorest people.
Many regions of the developing world, especially China and India, have seen high economic growth in recent years. Together with an expanding urban population, income growth is altering spending and consumer preferences. Global food demand is shifting from grains and other staple crops to processed food and high-value agricultural products, such as vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy.
Although many smallholder farmers would like to take advantage of new income-generating opportunities presented by high-value products, there are serious barriers to entering
|Contact: Jeff Haskins|