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Analysis Of Down To Earth Magazine: ”Rising Food Inflation Is A New Global Crisis!”

Analysis Of Down To Earth Magazine
”Rising Food Inflation Is A New Global Crisis!”

Relevance

”GS 2: Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests”

”GS 3: Buffer Stocks & Food Security”

Introduction

  • Across the world, food prices are rising at a rate never seen before.
  • The reasons are very apparent: two years of pandemic-induced disruption and now the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • WFP calls this a “seismic hunger crisis” gripping the world.
  • The World Bank warns that with each percentage point increase in food prices, an additional 10 million people will slip into extreme poverty worldwide
  • According to an assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food prices have increased by 75 per cent since mid-2020.

What did the All India Consumer Price Index assess?

  • All India Consumer Price Index was released by the National Statistical Office on April 12 this year.
  • In India, consumer food prices in rural areas rose by 100 per cent between March 2021 and March 2022.
  • The annual wholesale price inflation for 2021-22 was at 13 per cent, the highest in a decade, pushed by high food and fuel prices.

How the current food crisis is another fault line of a globalized world?

  • The current food crisis exposes another fault line of the globalised world.
  • Earlier, When covid-19 broke out, an interconnected world suddenly saw every country retreat and scramble for self-protection.
  • In the same manner, the current Food inflation impacts the world’s poor and developing countries the most, because a majority of them depend on food imports.
  • Countries with surplus food grains are now hoarding by placing curbs on export. This jeopardises the availability of food grains in deficit geographies.
  • Such is the effect of rising food inflation that even the World Food Program (WFP), currently running one of its most expansive food relief operations in recent history, has made a desperate appeal for more funds; it pays US $71 million more now each month to conduct the same operations that were underway earlier.

Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War

  • The war has disrupted the supply and circulation of foodgrains.
  • The Russia-Ukraine war has impacted energy security and fossil fuel supplies due to which rising fuel prices are adding to the overall costs of everything, including food production and transportation.
  • This is devastating for some 50 countries, most of whom are poor and depend on Ukraine and Russia for the staple grain, wheat.

Conclusion

Apart from Russia-Ukraine War and post covid impacts, extreme weather events continue to affect large swathes of areas that grow food, bringing down overall production. To sum up, humans’ most essential requirement for survival is now at stake. For coming out of this, the international community should urgently support vulnerable countries through coordinated actions.

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