Lower food prices to be expected this decade – FAO

  • 25 August 2015, Tuesday

Source: Manila Bulletin
10 Jul 2015

A report from Agricultural Outlook said lower food prices due to higher productivity and reduced fuel costs will be the rule in the coming decade.

The publication was released by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Moreover, a slack in demand will be manifest during the same decade, thus contributing to lower prices in much of the developed world but not guaranteeing there will be food in the pantry for more than 800 million people who will continue to be hungry and malnourished.

While describing the report’s prediction that the populations of developing countries would improve their caloric intake as “good news,” FAO Director-General José Graziano Silva admitted that least-developed countries “will remain significantly behind advanced economies; this is cause for concern, as it means hunger in these countries could persist.”

He admitted that malnutrition will remain a nagging issue and “developing countries now have to face problems of overweight, obesity and other diet-related non-communicable diseases.”

“Nonetheless, prices will likely remain at levels above those seen in the early-2000s. Lower oil prices will contribute to lower food prices, by pushing energy and fertilizer costs down, and removing incentives for the production of first-generation biofuels made from food crops,” the publication noted.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2015-2024 also projected that agricultural trade will increase slower than the past decade and its share of global production and consumption will be stable.

Agricultural commodity exports will be the domain of a few countries, which will be trading with more nations.

Last month, Dr. Paul S. Teng, a senior fellow at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) told a regional conference of Asean food experts to spur food production to enhance food security in the region.

Along with Searca Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., Teng predicted that the economic integration of Asean member-nations will reduce food prices and rationalize the production system in the region, improving food security in the process.