Business, Finance & Economics

Food crisis factors

In the last year the price of corn has shot up more than 30%, rice more than 70%, wheat more than 100%. For the average American it's not much more than a financial nuisance but for the huge number of people that live on one or two dollars a day, this is a huge threat. The head of the World Food Program says there are about 100 million people worldwide who are being put into an emergency category. For governments around the world, the food crisis also poses a political threat; consider the food riots in Haiti, Egypt and parts of Africa. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown organized a worldwide meeting of political leaders in Britain today to address the problem. Brown said Europe and the world need to be more selective in their encouragement of biofuels. Evo Morales of Bolivia is pointing the finger at Western countries and says corn should be used to feed people instead of for cars. There are lots of reasons why food prices have shot up in recent months: climate change and weather conditions, rising cost of fuel, the sinking value of US dollars. This analyst says the interdependency of global food markets is another cost and India's poor wheat harvest is also to blame. When India in response started giving rice to its poor populations instead of wheat, it causes a domino effect of other problems.

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