food prices

Food Commodity Prices Fall to Near 6-Year Low

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says the world’s major food commodity prices fell again in May to the lowest level in nearly six years amid a favourable outlook for this year’s harvests.
 
In a press statement, FAO states that its food price index averaged 166.8 points in May, down 1.4 percent from April and as much as 20.7 percent from a year earlier.
 

High Food Prices Leave Millions Hungry

After 20 years of democracy, 14 million citizens still go to bed hungry every night, while less than half the number of households in the country consistently have enough food to eat.

According to James Jonas, spokesperson for the Food Sovereignty Campaign, an organisation that provided the statistics, South Africans are starving partly because of exorbitant food prices.

Maize Imports to Increase SA Account Deficit

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has warned that imports of maize as a result of the drought could increase the South Africa’s current account deficit.
 
The bank, which released its 2016 Financial Stability Review Report, is of the view that this gives rise to financial stability risks.
 
The Reserve Bank says a combination of the drought and a weaker exchange rate has impacted agricultural commodity prices severely.
 

Drought Adds to SA’s Economic Gloom

Driving his pick-up truck down a dirt road, farmer Petrus Roux points to scorched fields that should be a sea of green maize, part of South Africa's western grain belt.
 
The worst drought in over a hundred years has devastated crops and could tip the economy into recession, adding to a loss of investor faith in President Jacob Zuma, pushing up food prices and possibly stoking social and racial tensions ahead of local elections.
 
"As far as the eye can see, empty fields," Roux says, pointing to pastures seared a rusty red.
 

Minimum Wages Must be Living Wages: Workers Support Families

The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) Minimum Food Basket in March 2015 for a family of four members increased from R2 155.62 to R2 170.04, a R14.42 or 0.67 percent month-on-month increase. This increase in the cost of a basket of food has to be considered against the increasing price trends in the International Commodity prices for staple foods and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) food month-on-month increases (up for the third month since January) and importantly against the backdrop of the urgent debate on minimum wages.

World Food Prices Rise

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says food prices rose in September 2012 and are seen remaining close to levels reached during the 2008 food crisis.

In the same vein, aid agency, Oxfam, has called on governments to tackle the root causes of food price volatility.

In a press statement, Oxfam spokesperson, Colin Roche, points out that, "They [countries] need to boost food reserves and strengthen social protection programmes for populations that are at risk of hunger.

Food Prices to Soar Due to Climate Change - Oxfam

Anti-poverty group, Oxfam, has warned that staple food prices may double within the next two decades due to climate change and an increase in extreme weather including droughts and hurricanes.

The organisation also warns that current climate change research is not taking into account extreme weather events, which it warned could also temporarily send up prices by a similar amount.

UN Calls for Action on Food Insecurity

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, say the prices for rice, wheat and other key foods are expected to remain volatile and possibly increase.

In their annual report on global food insecurity, the three agencies say poor farmers and consumers, particularly in Africa, will be most affected.

FAO Agricultural and Development Economics Division director, Kostas Stamoulis, says prices are expected to remain higher and more volatile.

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