Global Food Prices Set to Stagnate as Population Growth Slowing?

July 22, 2016 • Daily Email Recap

This article is intended as a report out on the latest release of the two organizations’ annual projections for major agricultural commodities. This report analyses how global and domestic forces are likely to shape agricultural markets over the next decade, while highlighting some of the risks and uncertainties that may influence the agricultural outlook. As you can see, the Bloomberg news-report below gives an extremely Pollyannish view for the next ten years — which defies common sense to a considerable degree.
However, if you go to the actual report, which this year features a special section on sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll see a somewhat different picture emerge. For example, the Forward of the full report, (PDF) notes the following:
  • …for the [agricultural] sector to meet the expanding demand for food, feed and raw products for industrial uses, significant production growth is needed. This expansion will have to take place in the face of declining land and water availability for many areas in the world, compounded by the effects of climate change…
  • While improvements to the global availability of, and access to, food are expected in the coming years, many countries will continue to be burdened with undernourishment and face increasingly complex issues of various forms of malnutrition…
  • …the challenge of feeding rapidly rising populations [in sub-Saharan Africa] remains formidable. The region has to overcome the challenge of low productivity of agricultural resources in the face of rapid urbanisation, increased globalization, the impacts of climate change, changing diets and the need for creating employment opportunities.
So, now you know “the rest of the story,” as they say. It is disturbing to think how utterly misinformed someone taking the Bloomberg report at face value would be.

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