Food prices worldwide reach highest ever level…

19 January, 2011 by (comments)

…according to Today, the BBC’s flagship radio news programme. That’s higher than the peak during the food price crisis of 2008, which triggered foot shortages, riots, and contributed to the toppling of at least one government.

Former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz, speaking on the programme, blamed high agricultural subsidies – particularly in the United States and Europe – for making food production uncompetitive, as well as 20 years of under investment in agriculture.

Stiglitz also mentions the rise of biofuel production and increasing beef consumption among “a number of other factors” behind the recent food price rises.

“We under-price water, we under-price carbon. We have a distorted market,” he concludes.

Click to hear CIAT economist Bernardo Creamer’s analysis of the latest surge in world food prices.

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en