FAO - OECD Report predicts a decade of high and volatile food prices

Published: 17th June 2011

Food prices will remain high and volatile for at least another decade driving hunger and malnutrition according to the Agriculture Outlook Report 2011 - 2020 released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today. 

Thierry Kesteloot policy advisor for Oxfam's GROW campaign said:

“The prediction that food prices will continue to spiral upwards and remain volatile over the next decade without urgent action only tells half the story. By ignoring the impacts of climate change on agriculture production the report underestimates the scale of the challenge we face and the scale of the response that is needed to fix our broken food system.

“Tackling climate change and investing in small-scale producers in developing countries – who offer the greatest potential to increase global yields and build resilient food systems – are fundamental to keeping food prices in check.

“G20 Agriculture Ministers meeting in France next week must read and act on this report and they must fill in the gaps that it has left. Reforming flawed biofuels policies which divert food into fuel and helping poor countries build up food stocks to guard against extreme fluctuations in global food prices must be at the top of their agenda.”

Notes to editors

The OECD/FAO report predicts that food prices will rise by 20 – 30 per cent over the next 10 years however this figure does not take into the account the impact of climate change on agricultural production.  New research commissioned by Oxfam's GROW campaign predicts that the price of staple foods such as maize, already at an all time high, will more than double in the next 20 years. Up to half of this increase will be due to climate change.


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