9 April 2008, New Delhi
Urgent measures required to reduce impact of high food prices on the poor.
“World food prices have risen 45 percent in the last nine months and there are serious shortages of rice, wheat and maize,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said.
A combination of factors, including reduced production due to climate change, historically low levels of stocks, higher consumption of meat and dairy products in emerging economies, increased demand for biofuels production and the higher cost of energy and transport have led to surges in food prices.
UNIDO’s Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, said: “Climate change will impose great stresses on the world’s ability to feed ever growing populations. This challenge brings new threats to arable land areas, livestock rearing and fisheries through droughts, water shortages and pollution of land, air and sea. It is, after all, agricultural and livestock production that provide the raw materials that are basic to human existence – especially food.”