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Tuesday, 07 February 2023
food inflation could worsen food insecurity in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

food inflation could worsen food insecurity in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

2022-10-31

 

Given the significant rise in food prices forecasted for the third quarter of this year, it is worth looking at the impact that such elevated food inflation rates could have on the food security of the region’s inhabitants. The likelihood of such a rise in food prices is affected by many factors, but one of the most prominent is the state of the global economy. In recent years, the price of essentials such as rice, wheat, sugar, vegetable oil, and corn have risen at an alarming pace. It is not just a matter of personal taste, as it is also a matter of hunger: In many parts of the world, the increase in food prices is linked to the severity of droughts, which in turn, are caused by climate change. If the global economy continues to weaken, it is likely that food inflation rates will increase in the coming years, which will have a significant impact on the well-being of people in developing nations.

What will impact food inflation?

As the global economy continues to struggle, it will drive up food prices, which in turn will directly impact the food supply chains of developing countries. Adhering to the principle of sustainable development, developed nations must not place an excessive burden on their food supply chains, which in turn should reflect their respective economic conditions.

Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the world’s hungry people reside, the impact of an increase in food inflation is likely to be significant. From a food supply perspective, the cost of staples such as rice, corn, wheat, and sugar may rise by 10-20%, which will have a significant impact on the livelihoods of the region’s inhabitants. Additionally, the adoption of new food cultivation techniques and the introduction of new plant varieties may lead to higher production costs, which in turn will have an impact on food prices.

Philippines

In the Philippines, where the average inflation rate is 9.1%, an increase of 10% would mean a tripling of the price of basic food items. This would have a significant impact on the country’s food confidence, with consumers likely to be put off from spending on food. Additionally, the inflation rate does not account for the country’s high level of poverty and stress on public services, which will likely rise as a result of rising food costs.

South Asia

In South Asia, an increase of 10% in food inflation would mean the price of a basic meal for a child up to the age of five would go up by around $0.50. This could have a significant impact on the region’s rural inhabitants, who would be unable to afford to purchase adequate food for their children.

East Asia

In East Asia, where average inflation is below 2%, an increase of 10% would have a significant impact on the cost of living for consumers. The price of food items such as rice, marine products, sugar, and corn could all rise, with the price of rice possibly rising the most. A 10% price rise in rice would mean a family of four in a developing country purchasing the same rice would be paying more for it.

Middle East

In the Middle East, where inflation is close to 2%, an increase of 10% would mean a 20% increase in the price of a basic meal for a child up to the age of five. Additionally, a rise in oil prices by around 10% could lead to a substantial increase in the price of food items such as sugar, corn, and rice, with a family of four being able to purchase the same sugar at a higher price as a result.

 
 

Central America

In Central America, where inflation is just 2%, an increase of 10% would mean a 20% increase in the price of a basic meal for a child. Additionally, a 10% increase in the price of food could have a significant impact on the region’s rural populations, with families unable to purchase enough food to meet their basic needs.

North America

In North America, where inflation is expected to average 2-3% over the next several years, an increase of 10% would mean a 20% increase in the price of a basic meal for a child. This would have a significant impact on the region’s middle class, with families being unable to afford to purchase the same amount of food for their children as before.

The World in 2018

Despite the positive impact that an increase in food prices would have on the well-being of some nations, it is important to remember that such price increases would be felt most acutely by the world’s poor. The majority of the world’s population currently lives in developing nations, where a lack of access to adequate food is a major problem. A high level of food insecurity is a major cause of urban violence and an additional burden on the criminal justice system.

Key takeaways

An increase in food inflation can disrupt the food security of a nation, particularly in developing countries where food is the most important source of nutrition.

In areas with high food inflation, an increase in food prices could lead to an increase in hunger, particularly among the poor.

The likelihood of an increase in food prices is affected by many factors, but one of the most prominent is the state of the global economy.

In recent years, the price of essentials such as rice, wheat, sugar, vegetable oil, and corn have risen at an alarming pace. It is not just a matter of personal taste, as it is also a matter of hunger: In many parts of the world, the increase in food prices is linked to the severity of droughts, which in turn, is caused by climate change.

If the global economy continues to weaken, it is likely that food inflation rates will increase in the coming years, which will have a significant impact on the well-being of people in developing nations.

 

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