News / Africa

ADB: Rising Food Prices Could Increase Poverty in Asia

A vegetable vendor carries his child at a stall in Beijing. China's consumer prices rose 5.4 percent over a year ago, driven by 11.7 percent surge in food costs, Apr 16, 2011
A vegetable vendor carries his child at a stall in Beijing. China's consumer prices rose 5.4 percent over a year ago, driven by 11.7 percent surge in food costs, Apr 16, 2011

A study by the Asian Development Bank finds that domestic food prices in many regional economies have risen on average 10 percent in early 2011.

Xianbin Yao, director general of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department at the Asian Development Bank, says these steep price increases could push an additional 64 million people into extreme poverty.

"Asia, despite its rapid growth, and it is still home to a majority of the worlds poor.  We have about 900 million in this, absolute poverty.  And, it is for this group of people, they are spending on about average two thirds, more than two thirds on foods.  So, with a 10 percent increase on food prices their real income eroded," Yao said.

Some food inflation was expected, but the report says that fast and persistent increases in the cost of many Asian food staples, coupled with sharply rising oil prices, could weaken Asian economies.

If the global food and oil price hikes seen in early part of 2011 persist for the remainder of the year, the report says, economic growth in the region could be reduced by up to 1.5 percent.

The report says many of the conditions that drove up food prices in 2008 are at work again. These include rising demand from wealthier developing countries; competing uses for food grains; shrinking available agricultural land; and, stagnant or declining crop yields.  Also this year, a weakened dollar and production shortfalls caused by bad weather could push prices higher.

To avert a looming crisis, Yao says Asia countries with surplus supplies of grain or rice should refrain from imposing export bans on food.

"ADB, the Asian Development Bank, has been working with this group of countries to establish such a system to help deal with the future emergencies -- when one country requires importing food and other countries can provide, so more of a cooperative approach rather than a competitive approach," Yao stated.

He says, in the long term, Asian economies must invest more in agriculture to increase crop production and expand storage facilities.  


You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs