World Food Day Brings Price Concerns
One hundred fifty nations mark World Food Day Sunday as the global population rushes toward an estimated 7 billion by the end of the month. The aim of the day is to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world. This year's focus is increasing price volatility. Between 2005 and 2008, the world's staple food prices soared to their highest levels in 30 years. Food riots broke out in more than 20 countries.
But then prices slumped again - falling 33 percent in six months as the global recession took hold. It didn't last and grain prices soared from 2010 into 2011 before starting to dip again. Economists worry such price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries.
The World Bank says that in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty.