1. The global export food prices have been skyrocketing since months (Post)
2. Combined with the raising fuel prices, it has caused - what is called - "A Global Food Crisis", urged by world leaders to be tackled urgently. (Post)
3. The crisis has sparked the question if the world can produce enough food to feed itself and how we can find ways to increase crop yields. (Post)
Yet, something is wrong with this picture... Take the case of Thailand:
1. 3 billion people worldwide rely on rice as a staple food (Source)
2. Thailand is one of the world's main rice exporters (Source)
3. The price of Thai B grade rice, a widely traded variety, reached $795 per ton in April, an increase of 147 percent from a year earlier. Source)
4. And yet, Thai rice farmers are getting a lower price for their produce, because of the highly successful crop this year (Source), urging the Thai government to bring in a subsidy scheme buying up 2.5 million tons of rice at a higher-than-market price. (Source)
Do you see the disparity?
- The world rice market soars, and yet the Thai rice farmers are getting less and less for their crop. Who picks up the profits of the high world market prices then?
- Even if the world would produce sufficient food to meet the demand, would that cause the food prices to drop? Or are they artificially kept high because of international profiteering on the financial markets?
You might think this is only the case in Thailand, but not so. Even in the US, farmers are complaining they only get 20 cents of every food dollar spent by consumers. Distribution and retailing account for 80 percent of retail prices. No surprise the world's farmers feel bypassed at the UN food summit. (Full)
More articles on The Road about the global food crisis
Graphs courtesy FAO and International Herald Tribune
Picture courtesy Wikipedia