World Food Price Index Up 32.8 Percent Compared to Previous Year

FAO noted that in 2021, the average food price jumped to 32.8 percent. Currently, 155 million people suffer from acute hunger and could lose their lives if they do not receive immediate food assistance.

underprivileged people
Illustration. Food prices continue to soar, making it difficult for the underprivileged to meet their food needs. (special document)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – World food commodity prices rose in September, led by tightening supply conditions and robust demand for staples such as wheat and palm oil, reported the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 130.0 points in September, up 1.2 percent from August and 32.8 percent higher than September 2020. The index tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities. This shows that every year, food prices continue to soar and it is increasingly difficult for impoverished people to get it.

The FAO Cereal Price Index in September increased by 2.0 percent from the previous month, with world wheat prices up almost 4 percent - and as much as 41 percent higher than a year earlier – due to tightening export availabilities amid strong demand. World rice prices also rose in September, while those of maize increased by a moderate 0.3 percent – averaging 38 percent higher year on year - as improved global crop prospects and the start of harvests in the United States of America and Ukraine largely countered the impact of hurricane-related port disruptions in the U.S.

The FAO Dairy Price Index increased by 1.5 percent from August, as solid global import demand and seasonal factors in Europe and Oceania drove up international quotations for all dairy products, especially butter. The FAO Meat Price Index was virtually unchanged in September from the previous month and up 26.3 percent on an annualized basis.

Apart from tightening export availability amid many demands, according to FAO, The COVID-19 pandemic has added to existing threats like pests, plagues, conflict, and climate change, compounding the global food crisis and adding to a sense of urgency.

“Food assistance needs are rising faster than the funding made available, making the current aid paradigm unsustainable in the longer term,” said Janez Lenarcic, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management. “We need to start acting on the risks of future food crises.”

Building on the outcomes of the high-level event on anticipatory action convened by the UN Secretary-General, and the UN Food Systems Summit, after decades of decline, the number of people facing hunger has started rising again. Today, 155 million people suffer from acute. Their lives and livelihoods are at risk because they lack food. A further 41 million people risk falling into famine or famine-like conditions.[]