Friday, August 19, 2011

Hani Yaafouri writes on escalating food prices and food shortages

This commentary lays out the reasons behind the escalating food prices and the shortages in food supply in the developing nations. In its state of security report in 2006, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA), estimated that 854 million people worldwide suffer from hunger and malnutrition including 820 million in developing countries due to shortages in food supply.

The increase in food prices is due to several factors. First, economic growth in some developing nations like China and India is straining our natural resources as demand for food has reached historic levels. Second, the rapid rise in petroleum prices due to constant unrest in the oil rich Middle East (Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria) and the escalating cost of shipping food supply across the globe are putting an unprecedented pressure on food prices due to the increase in transportation costs. Third, continuous increase in temperature due to climate change has impacted fresh water supply which is affecting crop production and supply. Fourth, the unprecedented demand from the biofuels sector is also affecting food prices.

Food shortages and escalating food prices are serious threats facing our world. The main reasons are attributed to unprecedented demand on our natural resources from the developing world, continuous increase in oil prices and the huge demand from the biofuels sector for agricultural lands. In order to mitigate these challenges, we need new agricultural policies and a new sustainable food frame work that increase the participation of developing nations in order to mitigate these challenges.

Hani Yaafouri
Masters of Resources Law Studies program graduate

Editor's note: Mr. Hani Yaafouri, who is originally from Lebanon, graduated from Denver Law's Masters of Resources Law Studies program in 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this information. I am taking Water and Food Sustainability for the fall quarter in the EPM Program at DU and Hani comments are a great reference.

    I referenced his notes on my blog.

    Julie Malone