Johannesburg – The rise in agricultural commodity prices poses a threat to food security‚ according to Ernst Janovsky‚ Absa head of agribusiness.
“It’s time to invest in agriculture‚ and more specifically‚ agriculture in Africa‚ if we are to address the challenges of food security‚” he said.
Addressing the media at an Agribusiness Roundtable on Wednesday‚ Janovsky noted that in the past decade the demand for food in developed countries had remained fairly stabile while the demand for food in developing countries had increased substantially due to good economic growth.
He said this trend‚ combined with additional demand for agricultural commodities‚ had led to a decline in especially world grain stocks and an increase in food prices in general.
This was further negatively affected in the short run by a drought in the US‚ one of the biggest producers of grain‚ with a resultant increase in international grain prices.
“The ripple effect of this is that grain-based food prices have already started to increase‚ with a potential decline in production volumes in the intensive livestock industries over the coming months.
"This will then trigger further increases in animal food products. Hence the forecast that food inflation will increase to between 12% and 15% in the next six to eight months‚” Janovsky warned.