Falling prices improve global food security

11 June 2015

Falling prices mean many of the world’s countries have an increasingly dependable supply of food, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) 2015 Global Food Security Index (GFSI).

The products most affected by falling prices are grain, sugar and dairy products, the EIU said. Lower-middle income countries had made particular gains in addressing food loss problems due to supply chain inefficiencies, said Lucy Hurst, the EIU’s GFSI project director. This has reduced their dependence on food aid, she added.

Food security improved in two-thirds of the 109 countries covered by the index. Middle income countries were the biggest beneficiaries of falling prices. According to the EIU Egypt, Burma, Azerbaijan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo had most improved their security of food supply over the past year.

Policies aimed at guaranteeing a secure food supply were taking effect in many markets worldwide, according to the EIU. What it described as “extensive” food safety-net programmes and increased government nutritional monitoring had also driven improvements.

Investments in agricultural infrastructure such as larger and more numerous crop storage facilities across sub-Saharan Africa were beginning having an impact.

“Falling grain, sugar and dairy prices, sustained economic expansion in most regions and rapid growth in emerging markets and developing countries, have narrowed the gap between the most food-secure and the least food-secure countries,” the EIU said.

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