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My Opinion 19: Soaring Food Price

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The soaring food price in 2008 has awakened many countries to possibility of global food crisis if no serious collective efforts were executed. The global price of rice during the first quarter of 2008 was 46 percent higher than during the same period in 2007.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) disclosed its findings during its High-Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome last month. The impact of food price increases can be either beneficial or detrimental for each country, depending on its position in the food chain, as net producer or net consumer. Net importer countries face serious problems, both economic and political.

In developing countries, urban communities in particular suffer more from soaring food prices since they are net consumers. Results of the FAO survey show, for each 10 percent hike in food prices, the average welfare of urban communities in developing countries decreased up to 3 percent, depending on the percentage of food expenditure as a portion of total income.

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