'Bumper harvests will end global food crisis'
New Delhi, August 21, 2008
The global food crisis that saw prices of foodgrains touch record levels will soon end, after farmers around the world planted more, said a senior Indian government official, according to a report.
'I don't think there's a crisis now,' stated T Nanda Kumar, India's food secretary, according to a Bloomberg report in Gulf News. 'Food will be available.'
Farmers in all countries planted more saplings to cash in on all-time high prices, which increased the stockpiles.
The end of the food shortages may result in countries such as India and Egypt remove trade barriers and ease inflation.
The United Nations reported that scorching food prices raised the number of hungry people by 50 million in 2007.
Now high hopes of bumper harvests will bring down the prices, say experts.
Huge rice harvests in Thailand and Vietnam, bumper soybean crops in China and India, and an almost doubling of wheat crop in Australia, have helped grain shortfalls in 2008.
The global production outlook for wheat and soybeans is 'very good,' while rice is still expensive, Kumar said.
Prices of rice in the last three years shot up due to export curbs by China, India, Vietnam and Egypt. Prices are expected to stay above the last five year average inspite of better production, felt Kumar.
He said that main grain prices have dropped from their peaks, with rice down 29 per cent, corn by 26 per cent and wheat by 35 per cent.