Commentary: Global food price increases are spiraling out of control

Global buffer stocks of these crops have been declining since 2017 as demand outstrips supply. The store closures have helped stabilize global markets, but prices have risen sharply from 2019.

Again, the reasons for individual fluctuations are complicated.

But something that deserves attention is the number of times since the year 2000 “unpredictable” and “adverse weather conditions” have been reported by FAO as having caused “reduced harvest forecasts”, “unscheduled harvests”. and a “drop in production”.

Europeans could worry about the price of pasta as Canadian droughts reduce wheat crops.

But, as the real grain price index reaches levels that turned bread price riots into general uprisings in 2011, there is an urgent need to examine how communities in poorer regions can overcome these tensions and avoid troubles.


Our technological capacity and socio-economic organization cannot successfully cope with unpredictable and adverse weather conditions.

Now would be a good time to imagine the food supply in a warmer world over 2 degrees Celsius – an outcome now seen as increasingly likely according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Developments. weather.

Without radical changes, climate degradation will continue to reduce international access to imported food, well beyond any historical precedent.

Higher prices will reduce food security, and if there is a strong social science law, it is that hungry people take drastic measures to secure their livelihoods – especially when leaders are perceived to have failed.

Alastair Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick. This comment first appearance on La Conversation.

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