The warning lights came on several months ago, and now we are at a point where the basic food commodity prices are at a new record high.
Prices on the international markets are even beating the prices of the 2008 food crisis, which caused severe unrest in many countries:
For more details, check out the FAO World Food Situation page
While the record food prices have not hit the mainstream news, it is worthwhile considering that in the past centuries, many revolutions were rooted in the lack of food availability. Now relate that to the current turmoil in Libya, Egypt, Tunesia, Bahrain and Yemen. There seems to be a strong link between the food prices and the current civil unrest. In most cases, it was even predicted.
I think 2011 will be a tough year. But the situation is not hopeless. The Economist just published an article "What is causing food prices to soar and what can be done about it?", in which they highlight the importance of non-profit/non-commercial agricultural research, something which has come dear to our heart, here on The Road (read my earlier article "Cutting agricultural aid research or how to dig your own grave")
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More articles on The Road about the international food crisis