The UN’s food agency is calling for rules to curb speculation in surging commodity prices.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation is warning that the world is heading towards a food crisis that threatens political instability.
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said: “Higher prices and volatility will continue in the next years if we fail to tackle the structural causes of imbalances in the international agricultural system,”
His comments, published in Japan’s Nikkei business daily, echoed a call this week from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said the world risks food riots and weaker growth if global leaders fail to deal with volatile food prices.
In a report this month, the FAO said its global price index hit a record high in December, outstripping levels in 2008 when soaring food prices triggered riots in several countries.
Worries about poor weather have led to warnings that prices of key grains could rise further this year.