Conservative Leader says that Food Security should rank alongside Energy Policy and National Security.
THE UN World Food Programme (WFP) is to hold an emergency meeting in Rome today, as rising food prices across the world threaten to create a new constituency of millions of city-dwellers who are unable to afford basic foodstuffs.
The Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development (OECD) has warned that food prices could rise by between one fifth and one half over the next ten years.
The sudden leap in the worldwide price of grain and other basic foodstuffs could mean that millions of hitherto relatively affluent people in cities would not be able to afford food, Greg Barrow, a London-based spokesman for the WFP, said on Tuesday.
He said the key factors behind the price-shift were: • demand for meat from India and China, as their economies grow. Feeding livestock diverts grain stocks from markets; • high oil prices, which have pushed up the costs of oil-based fertilizers and the cost of transport; • arable land that has been switched to bio-fuel production, and so is lost for food supplies;
• weather extremes caused by global warming, which have damaged farming in the developed countries that supplied the global market.