Biotech Updates

OECD/FAO Global Outlook: Food Prices Likely to Remain High

May 30, 2008

Agricultural commodity prices will remain high over the next decade, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In addition to mobilizing humanitarian aids to face the situation, the report suggested boosting agricultural productivity and rethinking of biofuel policies. The report pointed out that it is not clear whether the energy security, environmental and economic objectives of biofuel policies will be achieved with current production technologies. The growth in biofuel production, which tripled between 2000 and 2007, adds to demand for grains, oilseeds and sugar.

Other factors that contribute to sharp rise of commodity prices include high oil prices, changing diets, urbanization, economic growth and expanding populations. The recent drought in grain producing regions has contributed to low stocks. Climate change is also expected to affect crop production and supply.

FAO Director General Jacques Diouf said that coherent action is urgently needed by the international community to deal with the impact of higher prices on the hungry and poor. "It should be clear now that agriculture needs to be put back onto the development agenda.”

View for more information. For the highlights of the report, read