2007–2008 world food price crisis

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FAO Food Price Index
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The 2007–2008 world food price crisis was a period of steep increases in the prices of food commodities, which led to widespread economic and social impacts across the globe. The crisis was driven by a combination of factors including adverse weather conditions, increased demand for biofuels, rising oil prices, and growing demand from developing countries.

Causes[edit | edit source]

Several factors contributed to the 2007–2008 world food price crisis:

  • Drought: Severe droughts in major grain-producing regions reduced crop yields, leading to lower supply.
  • Biofuel production: Increased production of biofuels, particularly ethanol, diverted crops like corn from food to fuel production.
  • Rising oil prices: Higher oil prices increased the cost of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and transportation.
  • Increased demand from developing countries: Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India led to higher demand for food.

Impacts[edit | edit source]

The crisis had significant impacts on both developed and developing countries:

  • Food prices: The prices of staple foods such as rice, wheat, and corn saw dramatic increases.
  • Social unrest: High food prices led to protests and riots in several countries, including Haiti, Egypt, and Bangladesh.
  • Policy changes: Governments implemented various measures to mitigate the crisis, such as export bans, price controls, and subsidies.

Responses[edit | edit source]

Governments and international organizations responded to the crisis in several ways:

  • Export bans: Some countries, like India and Vietnam, imposed export bans on rice to ensure domestic supply.
  • Price controls and subsidies: Governments in countries like Mexico and Indonesia implemented price controls and subsidies to make food more affordable.
  • International aid: Organizations such as the World Food Programme increased food aid to the most affected regions.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The 2007–2008 world food price crisis highlighted the vulnerability of the global food system to various shocks. It led to increased focus on food security and the need for sustainable agricultural practices.

Related Pages[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD