appetite ( food
While Singapore may seem like an extreme example, many experts are
predicting that other countries could eventually face a similar set
an inability to produce the food needed to feed their growing populations,
and a heavy dependence on imported goods.
to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, global food
consumption has exceeded the amount grown in six of the past 11 years.
One of the
main causes has been severe weather patterns that have damaged harvests
and limited global production.
this year, the US was hit by its worst drought in more than half a
century, while major growers in Russia and the Black Sea region were
forced to cut their production forecasts following a heat wave.
As a result,
overall global food prices rose by 1.4% in September, following a
steep 6% rise in July.
for food is very unpredictable. Demand is more or less stable,'' says
Lynette Tan, an analyst from Phillip Futures.
''Disruptions can happen at any time due to the weather.''
At the same
time, analysts say that too many countries have failed to improve
the efficiency of their food production and supply chains.
for policymakers is that rising food prices often result in social
last food crisis in 2008, riots broke out across North Africa and
the Middle East after staples such as bread became too expensive to
The poor people in Asian economies are likely to be hurt the most
by a rise in global food prices
last year there were large street protests after the cost of red onions,
used widely in cooked and raw dishes, quadrupled and sent the prices
of other vegetables surging.
of outbreak is prompting countries such as China, the world's second-biggest
economy and home to many of the new consumers who are buying up global
supplies of meat and grains, to step up their attempts to secure long-term
been making record purchases of soybean, a key ingredient in the Chinese
diet, to add to their reserve stock piles.
It has also been looking to buy up vast tracts of farmland in countries
such as Australia and New Zealand, often with limited success.
moment, China and other relatively wealthy countries such as Singapore
are able to pay a premium for food that is imported or grown on their
behalf in foreign fields.
for organisations such as the Earth Policy Institute in Washington
DC is that should nations fail to plan well enough for their food
futures, then there will be an increased risk of clashes over crops
country is in a position where it needs to protect its own food security,"
says Janet Larsen, director of research at the Earth Policy institute.
"There's no reason why they won't move into an every country
for itself mode."
extract out of : Singapore seeks answers to rising food prices