Rudy Ruitenberg and Tony Dreibus
World food prices that rose 37 percent in a year, driving 44 million more people into poverty, are a “plague” that need action from world leaders now, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said.
Group of 20 farm ministers are in Paris for the second day of a summit. France, which holds the G-20 presidency, wants a central database on crops, limits on export bans, international market regulation, emergency stockpiles and a plan to raise global output. The proposals to limit export curbs and start a database will be “especially sensitive,” French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire said last week.
Wheat as much as doubled in the past year as Russia and Ukraine curbed exports after drought decimated crops, adding to record global food prices the World Bank says put 44 million more people into poverty since June. Nations will spend $1.29 trillion on food imports this year, the most ever and 21 percent more than in 2010, the United Nations estimates.
“Volatility is a plague on farmers and consumers,” Sarkozy said in a speech to the ministers yesterday. “It can plunge entire populations into famine and poverty.”
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