S. America reacts to soaring food prices
Source: CCTV.com | 04-26-2008 15:14
With the prices of many basic commodities rising fast and some countries beginning to cut their export of staple crops, world food markets have been gripped with panic. And developing countries have been hard hit by the price hikes, stoked by rising fuel prices and unpredictable weather.
Brazil's Agriculture Minister said the country grew more rice than it consumed and had a reserve that would safeguard supply.
He said sales abroad would be blocked to make sure the country had enough of the grain for the next six to eight months. "Brazil's greatest concern is having problems importing rice in the future, even though we are self-sufficient. For this reason, we are going to try to maintain an internal stock," said Brazil's Agriculture Minister.
Like other developing countries, Bolivia, with over 60 percent of the population living in poverty, has been hard hit by the global food crisis.
Local residents are increasingly relying on subsidized cafes to provide them with their basic meals.
The World Food Programme announced on Thursday that it now has a deficit of over 750 million US dollars in its budget, as a result of soaring world food prices over the last year.
And the World Bank estimates that food prices have risen by 83 percent in three years.
Experts expect world food prices to rise even further, which may constitute a devastating blow for the world's poorest people, who spend more than half of their income on food.