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New Report: World Food Prices Could Double

Megan Lynch
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WASHINGTON D.C. (KMOX) – An international relief group is warning food prices could skyrocket in the next two decades.

Oxfam’s Vicky Rateau says staple grains are projected to double by the year 2030. “For many people they’ll see an impact in the cost of bread, but also the cost of meat and dairy, because many of those grains are needed for livestock feed and also poultry feed.”

Rateau says while consumers in the US will feel the pinch, people in poverty-stricken nations will suffer more severely.  She says her agency is most worried about people in impoverished nation’s who have to spend the bulk of their income on food.  “As Americans we’ll of course see impact in the price that we pay for bread and milk at the grocery store, but for many of us while food is expensive it’s not, on the average, more than 25-percent of our household income.”  In contrast, Rateau says people in countries such as India, Somalia and Ethiopia may pay 80-percent of more of their income to feed their households.

Oxfam contends rising food prices are linked to a number of factors, including increased use of grains in bio-fuel, dominance of food production by a handful of global companies, government policies that hamper agriculture development in impoverished nations, speculation in the commodities markets, and lack of transparency in the commodities markets that leads to unnecessary stockpiling of food.

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