"(…) In the complex mix of environmental, political, economic and trade factors influencing global food security, analysts seem sure of one thing: the world is entering a period of 'agflation'. In the past ten years, according to the FAO, global food prices have risen an average 83%. 'Another multi-year surge in food prices is likely,' says a recente report from Japanese investment bank Nomura.
Key drivers of higher food prices, such as population increase and the nutrition transition, are unlikely to abate. The US, EU and Brazil are unlikely to change their biofuels policies. So bodies like the World Bank's Global Food Crisis Response Programme and the UN Secretary General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis argue that there needs to be major investment in agriculture. These investments will need to take into account the probable effects of future climate change.
With the poorest countries the most vulnerable, the World Bank is concerned about possible unrest in Central America and the Caribbean, particularly El Salvador, Haiti, Grenada and Jamaica. The FAO's Abbassian thinks the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are in a precarious position, as well as African states such as Uganda, Mali, Niger and Mozambique (which had food riots in September 2010). Nomura's Food Vulnerability Index puts Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the top of its list, alongside MENA countries already affected.
Until more is known about the 2011/12 harvest, Granite Springs' Truglia says the global food industry is in a wait-and-see position, 'at the mercy of the weather'. The FAO's Abbassian admits: 'We are two bad seasons from a major disaster."