In Brief 1
Food prices - between hope and hunger
Food prices are sky-rocketing. We notice this when we buy milk, bread or pasta. Those earning less than one dollar a day are barely to afford it. Read more! (2008)
Farmers and also brokers are following the exploding prices of agricultural products closely: while a bushel of wheat (around 27 kg) sold for less than three euro in 2000, the price rose to a moderate five euro by February 2007, then soared to the current price of 12 euro within a year. For farmers in industrial nations, these prices are a cause for hope: farming is becoming profitable again and they might be able at last to earn a reasonable income from their own crops.
Farmers in the South can also benefit from these trends, especially if they produce sufficient quantities and have access to markets via favourable road and port links. On the other hand, we have the impoverished small-scale farmers, subsistence farmers and landless in developing countries. Those earning less than one dollar a day are barely able to afford staple foods. And this is true of 980 million people worldwide (UNDP 2007), twice the total population of the U! These people are worst hit by the price increases: only those who have enough money can eat and live – those who are poor become ill and die.
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