FAO-OECD: Outlook grim for food prices over next decade

17 June, 2011 by (comments)

Global food prices have risen by 40% in the last year. This upward trend is here to stay, estimates the FAO and OECD in their new report Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020.

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According to the report, agricultural production is expected to rise by 1.7% annually, compared to the 2.6% growth rate of the past decade. Cereal prices could average as much as 20% higher and meat prices may rise by a third, compared to 2001-10. This will primarily be caused by increased demand for food and feed in the developing world and for bio-fuels in the developed world, says FAO economist Merritt Cluff.

The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog charted some of the data today showing other interesting projections, including:

  • People will be moving away from staple foods towards “more processed and prepared food products that contain a greater proportion of animal protein”.
  • Farming fish will contribute to around 45% of total fishery production by 2020.
  • Exports of grain from Eastern Europe and Central Asia are anticipated to grow very rapidly giving them a large share of the export market.

“The key solution to the problem will be boosting investment in agriculture and reinforcing rural development in developing countries, where 98% of the hungry people live today and where population is expected to increase by 47% over the next decades,” commented FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

The report comes ahead of a G20 meeting of agricultural ministers in Paris next week where food price volatility will be at the top of the agenda.

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