Oxfam fears food prices to double

CALLS have been made for the global food system to be completely overhauled following the publication of a report saying food prices are likely to double by 2030.

The report, by the charity Oxfam, says prices for staple crops such as those of wheat and maize would increase by as much as 180 per cent in the next two decades and the planet was “sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis”.

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Climate change would be the biggest driver of increased food costs, the charity said, with a rising global population, changing diets, shortages of land and water and the use of crops for biofuels also likely to put up prices.

Demand for food is projected to increase globally by 70 per cent by 2050 yet the rate of growth in agriculture yields is predicted to decline to less than one per cent in the next decade.

Oxfam is calling on governments across the globe to take actions to avert a potential food crisis, saying that the world’s poorest people, who spend up to 80 per cent of their income on food, will be hit hardest.