Robert Zoellick said that in Bangladesh, staples such as rice can cost almost half of a poor family's daily income.
Prices of bread, rice, maize products, milk, oil, soybeans and others basic foods have increased sharply in recent months in a number of developing countries, despite policy measures -- including export restrictions, subsidies, tariff reductions and price controls -- taken by governments of both cereal importing and exporting countries to limit the impact of international prices on domestic food markets.
Food riots have been reported in Egypt, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Philippines and Haiti in the past month. In Pakistan and Thailand, army troops have been deployed to avoid seizing of food from the fields and from warehouses.
“Food price inflation hits the poor hardest, as the share of food in their total expenditures is much higher than that of wealthier populations,” said Henri Josserand of FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning system. “Food represents about 10-20 percent of consumer spending in industrialized nations, but as much as 60-80 percent in developing countries, many of which are net-food-importers.
Highly recommended interview with David Dawe, economist at FAO