Published on April 22, 2008
Section Green Report / Media
We’ve heard about the riots in Haiti and the suffering in India caused by the price of wheat, rice and maize doubling in the last 12 months, along with soy and corn trading well above average. But why is this happening? And why now? The BBC attributes this to end of the “Goldilocks era for global commodities”, which saw prices stable for some 30 odd years. This, combined with the fact that food buffers are at all time lows, is hitting India and other developing countries very hard.
“33 countries around the world are at risk of social upheaval as a result of acute increases in food and energy prices,” said Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank (via the Chicago Tribune). Rice, lentils and wheat for a family in India can “take as much as 70 percent of a meager monthly salary… with the other 30 percent of the family’s income committed to rent,” which means no vegetables or other necessary food staples. Whereas, in rich developed nations, “people spend an average of 10 to 15 percent of their disposable income on food.” Continue Reading / See Additional Photos