People are approaching a food crisis – Forbes Kazakhstan


Inflation is a problem for everyone. But the numbers you know are far from complete, writes The consumer price index (CPI), based on the observation of price increases for selected consumer goods, is already quite frightening – 6.4% in 12 months. But keep in mind that these figures do not include energy and food prices. The reason for this is the desire to assess key financial resources and predict the future, and energy and food products are often so volatile that forecasting becomes extremely difficult. That’s why he is out of the game.

When people hear inflation figures, food prices tend to rise and fall very quickly. Unfortunately, now is not the time for those consumers who do not have enough financial resources to survive the price spikes as food becomes more and more expensive.

In February 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) noted that the global food index had reached an all-time high. The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) averaged 140.7 points in February 2022, up 5.3 points (3.9%) from January to 24.1 points (20.7%) ) is higher than in January last year, the agency writes. – This is a new high of all time, surpassing the previous record of February 2011 by 3.1 points. The growth in February was due to the significant increase in the sub-indices of prices for vegetable oils and dairy products. In addition, grain and meat prices rose, with the sugar price index falling for the third consecutive month.

The New York Times quoted Maurice Obstfeld, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. He stated that “it would not be an exaggeration to say” that the world is approaching a global food crisis. At the end of the year, the increase in prices for vegetable oils amounted to 8.5%, for meat – 15.3%, cereals increased by 14.8%.

In some parts of Latin America and Africa, people regularly spend 50% to 60% of their income on food. According to the IMF, food inflation around the world has reached almost 6.9% on average.

Prices in the US have been rising particularly rapidly recently, with food prices rising 7.9% year-on-year in February 2022, according to the Federal Statistical Office. “By February 2022, prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs had risen by 13.0%, the highest annual increase since July 1979. From February 2021 to February 2022, Prices for fruits and vegetables increased by 7.6%, and for soft drinks and their raw materials – by 6.7%.

One reason is that farmers are facing rising costs for labor, machinery, fuel, fertilizers, seeds and weed control, according to the Wall Street Journal. The increase in food prices in 2022 could prove to be the same.

A USDA study released last September found that 89.5% of U.S. households are food safe — that is, “consistent, reliable access to enough food for an active, healthy life” while the rest do not. “The remaining 10.5% (13.8 million households) are food insecure. Such families (with low and very low levels of food security) at times, due to lack of resources, faced difficulties in providing food for all their members. In 2020, the prevalence of food insecurity remained unchanged from 10.5% in 2019 “. About a third of the families were “very food insecure”, meaning that food intake by some members of the household was reduced and during the year, normal eating habits were sometimes completely disrupted.

Of course, with inflation continuing to rise, it makes sense that the number of people facing food shortages will increase.

Where can you expect help? Certainly not from the federal government, which is now responsible for the new budget and determines where the money will be spent. But even if more funds are allocated for humanitarian aid, the budget would still be for fiscal year 2023, which will start only on October 1, 2022.

Food depots in New Jersey, Las Vegas, Chicago and many other areas are already experiencing food shortages. What will happen next? Who knows? And who cares? It is clear that few people.

Translation: Delilah Madina

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