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Scrutiny
  
The Hunger Strike Again…
...the world food price touches a new high all over again...
17/04/2008

For decades, people around the world advocated low commodity prices, especially the food prices. But in recent months, the world price of almost all food crops has shot up. World Food Programme (WFP), a UN agency, has appealed to the world, especially the developed countries, to help them with $500 million, to cover higher food costs. At the end of 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had considered some kind of food-price controls. Moreover, food costs had risen by 23% since 2006 with the price of grains up by 42%, oil by 50% and dairy products by 80%. As per the WFP, most countries of Central Africa, Afghanistan and few parts of Asia are facing a big food crunch.

More than 30% of the people do not get as much food as needed. But in many countries, it’s the political and bureaucratic affairs that have actually build an artificial shortage of food. Studies have shown that there is virtually no shortage of food but due to wrong planning most of the food grains do not reach the needy. The core of problem is not the quantity of food but food being sold at wrong place and at higher price (black markets). The most affected part of the globe seems to be the Asian continent, where the price of rice is skyrocketing. Moreover, the global stock of rice is at a historical low (since 1970s). In countries like Myanmar, due to internal conditions, the production of grain is far lower than actual ability to produce. A report by the UN reveals that a rise in food grain production could bring 200 million Asians out of poverty. Conflicts over food in Egypt killed two people and similar riots were also seen in parts of Burkina Faso and Cameroon.

Instead of concentrating on supplying emergency food aid the global agencies should stress on surveillance and delivery mechanism for effective results.

By:- B&E
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