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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 138  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 398-410

Rising food costs & global food security: Key issues & relevance for India

Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Daniel J Gustafson
Deputy Director-General (Operations), Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24135190

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Rising food costs can have major impact on vulnerable households, pushing those least able to cope further into poverty and hunger. On the other hand, provided appropriate policies and infrastructure are in place, higher agricultural prices can also raise farmers' incomes and rural wages, improve rural economies and stimulate investment for longer-term economic growth. High food prices since 2007 have had both short-term impacts and long-term consequences, both good and bad. This article reviews the evidence of how rising costs have affected global food security since the food price crisis of 2007-2008, and their impact on different categories of households and countries. In light of recent studies, we know more about how households, and countries, cope or not with food price shocks but a number of contentious issues remain. These include the adequacy of current estimates and the interpretation of national and household food and nutrition security indicators. India is a particularly important country in this regard, given the high number of food insecure, the relative weight of India in global estimates of food and nutrition insecurity, and the puzzles that remain concerning the country's reported declining per capita calorie consumption. Competing explanations for what is behind it are not in agreement, but these all point to the importance of policy and programme innovation and greater investment necessary to reach the achievable goal of food and nutrition security for all.

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