Posted by: r.m. | February 24, 2011

…and food prices

(From the Guardian) – If the revolts in Egypt and Libya spread further, we can expect spikes not just in oil prices – but in the cost of food as well

… and when food prices increase, they affect the poor, those who spend a significant portion of their income on food.

However, it is important to note that production of crops is not the only reason behind potential spikes in food prices. Rather, there are the issues of speculation, hoarding, and, most powerfully, the determination of the few, large, substantial US companies that control more than 80% of the food market (from seeds to pesticides to crop production to distribution)…

P.S. While we’re talking about farming, here is a small update on Lebanon: The storm that hit Lebanon at dawn Sunday has caused massive damages to agricultural areas in South Lebanon. High speed winds in the villages of Hassbaya and Aarqoub stripped 50% of lemon trees from their fruit, and rain flooded numerous onion fields.

and here’s another postscript: Continuing the conversation about Lebanon’s agriculture (From Al-Akhbar, Friday Feb 25):

آخر حقل زراعي في النبطية

على مسافة مئة متر من الوسط التجاري لمدينة النبطية، لا يزال سكان حيّ السراي يسمعون يومياً طرق معول يضرب في تربة حقل زراعي وحيد، يصبغه اللون الأخضر. هناك، في قلب السوق، لا تزال فاطمة بدير وزوجها يزرعان أرضهما


Responses

  1. This is a huge factor. As are the policies the Egyptian government introduced at the behest of the IMf and World bank which robbed their poorer citizens of any protection.

  2. I think Fatima is a very strong woman who is attached to the land and farming and in fighting against industralisation and shift to trade she struggles with poverty.She is satistisfied with her low income as long as she is defending a cause which means a lot to her.Aya Gebara -section2

  3. This article cleared up some wonders i had in my mind about how a crisis can lead to another crisis. And drove me to think, or at least to consider that, the western countries are trying to settle things up and work out peace in the Middle East, not because they care about us, but just because they don’t want to be affected by the “instability”. That said, they don’t want to get affected by the rise of oil barrels, nor the following logical rise of food and so on.
    However, i think that the revolutions causes are right, and it’s normal to have some difficulties along the way whether it’s in Egypt or Libya or any other country. And hopefully, people there, will have a decent life and prices should become stable again and maybe even decrease a bit.
    BABA Karim – BIOL 207 – Section 1

  4. It is so wierd how we tend to take things forgranted!I never thought that what was going on in the near-by Arab countries will have shuch a great impact on life here in Lebanon.This increase in the cost of basicly everything is devastaing and is affecting every household!You start to ask yourself when will it be over?

  5. We should thank God for this agricultural field, despite the fact that it is the only one in its neighborhood…if only people realize how important agriculture and farmers are…people usually don’t like farmers, but a world without them means a world without agriculture which means a world that lacks balanced nutrition & thus a deseased world….
    anyway i think poor people, and especially the one that have a very low income, are the first to suffer from food crisis. So let us pray for this country.

  6. This article shows that the world is one unit, and because of this inter-relation of importation/exportation, crisis at one region would not only affect another region but also leads to another different rising crisis and so shaking the whole market. This correlation is what led many countries to interfere, so that to stabilize the zig zag spikes of prices and to insure availability of natural resources for them.

  7. […] 19 Mar (From the Guardian) – If the revolts in Egypt and Libya spread further, we can expect spikes not just in oil prices – but in the cost of food as well … and when food prices increase, they affect the poor, those who spend a significant portion of their income on food. However, it is important to note that production of crops is not the only reason behind potential spikes in food prices. Rather, there are the issues of speculation, hoarding, and, … Read More […]


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