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 FAO Wants Price Curbs And Warns Of Food Crisis: Report

FAO Wants Price Curbs And Warns Of Food Crisis: ReportBy REUTERS
Filed at 12:26 a.m. ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - Rules are needed to curb speculation in surging commodity prices as the world heads toward a food crisis that threatens political instability, the head of the U.N.'s food agency said.

The warning, in comments published in Japan's Nikkei business daily on Tuesday, echoed a call the previous day by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said the world risks food riots and weaker growth if global leaders fail to deal with volatile food prices.

"Higher prices and volatility will continue in the next years if we fail to tackle the structural causes of imbalances in the international agricultural system," Director-General of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Jacques Diouf, said in written comments to the Nikkei.

It quoted him as saying the world may be on the verge of another major food crisis, with farm subsidies and tariffs playing a major role in distorting the global supply-demand balance.

In a report this month, the FAO said its global price index hit a record high in December, outstripping levels in 2008 when soaring food prices triggered riots in several countries.

Worries about poor weather have led to warnings that prices of key grains could rise further this year.

Food insecurity will affect the poorest populations most seriously, and this "will generate political instability in countries and threaten world peace and security," Diouf was quoted as saying.

In comments on Monday at the start of France's stewardship of the Group of 20 (G20), Sarkozy questioned why money markets were regulated but not those for commodities.

"If we don't do anything we run the risk of food riots in the poorest countries and a very unfavorable effect on global economic growth," the French president said. "The day there are food riots, what country at the G20 table will say this does not concern them?"

The FAO's Diouf made much the same point, saying there was "a pressing need for new measures of transparency and regulation to deal with speculation on agricultural commodity futures markets."

He blamed trade barriers in advanced economies as distorting the supply and demand balance.

The surge in agricultural markets of such crops as wheat and sugar has fueled protests in parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

Over the next 40 years, a 70 percent increase in agricultural production will be needed worldwide and a 100% increase in developing countries to meet the demands of an growing population.

That meant $44 billion a year was needed in official development aid in agriculture. Private investment should increase by $60 billion to $200 billion a year.

The money should be used to help finance small water-control works, local storage facilities, rural roads and such facilities as fishing ports and slaughterhouses in developing nations, he was quoted as saying.

 2011/1/25 2:29

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497

 Re: FAO Wants Price Curbs And Warns Of Food Crisis: Report


This potentially could open a can of worms...too bad that hog farmer from IL is not here to respond to this post...

For beginners if the gov would not promote the production of ethanol the price of corn would be lower, lowering the cost of catfish feed, livestock feed. And corn farmers would not be making so much money...

Opps! Rules say no politics, right?

In any case life is simpler if you keep it simple and work more towards survival then getting rich via agriculture. Seems like scripture says something to this effect... The larger your operation the greater the gov regulations that come on the scene that will work to thwart your operation.

Complex. Confusing. Difficult.

Have a blessed day, anyways! God is still on the throne in spite of world politics and natural disasters!

Sandra Miller

 2011/1/25 8:59Profile

Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2670
Nottingham, England


If anyone's interested, there's a video called The Future of Food.

Its out there.


 2011/1/25 9:05Profile

Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK



Is this the BBC one?, if so it is no longer available to watch (interestingly)!!


 2011/1/25 10:31Profile


my original post was NOT political at all.

God has seen fit in my lifetime to "put me" in various jobs, positions, careers, what have you, and after my stint in Naval intelligence, i found myself in the heart of agricultural mercantilism. i was young, early 20's, given great authority, learned quickly, and attended to my duties with felicity and integrity.

i was engaged in the trade of just about every domestic agri commodity, hogs, cattle, corn wheat, etc. i attended to not only making sure transactions were precisely rendered, but also to the supply and demand considerations of not only the company, but to the state of US and global statistics. Say what anybody wants about the USDA, but they are very good with both both domoestic and global, supply/demand stat's. i started this endevour in the early 80's and keep my eyes on it to this very's kind of like a "Joseph" with me, though i am no longer involved in that business.

That said, for many many years, in wheat, the balance between supply and demand, meaning surplus carry over wheat has always been razor thin. in the world, right this second, there are only 4 to 5 countries that can export wheat, , and wheat crop failure in any of these countries can cause price turmoil in the wheat market, and we are seeing this now. Russia's wheat crop was a major disaster, and Australia is in trouble. Thank God, our crop was good, but given previous failures, wheat is trading between $8 and 9 dollars a bushel. i believe that this is just the beginning of a very big up move in the price of wheat, to 20 dollars a bushel.

in fact, in general has begun to play on the world's stage. The general upset in Tunisia is directedly tied to the price of wheat, and now we see Egypt growing restive. i just read that headline. for over 2 decades thru a program called PL480, we have been giving Egypt millions of tonnes of wheat every year. not so much out of altruism, but if Egypt goes haywire, closure of the Suez Canal would carry dire implications, especially in relation to petroleum. i've always thought that Mubarak of Egpyt has been hanging on by his fingernails, and there is a possibility, i feel, he could topple. Like Iran, once the fellers in the riot police suits, go over to the people, you might see what you saw in Iran circa 1978-79.

all because of food, or lack of.

that's why i say, saints, learn how to be food sufficient if you can. plant big gardens this year. can food like Grandmother did, quit throwing away any glass bottles, jugs, plastic buckets, water bottles, these are very very useful to store things in, candles, firewood, tools, get simple, stay innocent, humble, He will always give us our Daily Bread, both Imperishable, and perishable.

these are not days of fear, they are exciting days, true, they might be full of turmoil, but we have Messiah Jesus, What more can one desire?...than Him?

if anyone desires the websites to peruse S/D statistics, i will give them. i didnt post them, because i dont want any brother or sister to worry, or waste unneccesary RAM space. i'll keep an eye out for you. in Jesus love, and i love you, neil

 2011/1/25 14:30

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497

 Re: GinnyRose

my original post was NOT political at all.

Neil, your article contains excellent advice.


Sandra Miller

 2011/1/25 18:47Profile

Joined: 2009/3/17
Posts: 308
Central Alberta, Canada

 Re: FAO Wants Price Curbs And Warns Of Food Crisis: Report

been watching this unfold as well...


 2011/1/25 23:38Profile

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