Notes to broadcasters on rising food prices

    | May 30, 2011

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    Food prices have been steadily increasing this year. While they have not reached 2008 levels, they are seriously affecting the daily lives of millions of people in Africa, rural and urban dwellers alike. It seems logical that farmers should benefit from rising prices, by commanding higher prices for their products. But wheat and maize are traded on the international market, and the factors that control international price fluctuations are beyond farmers’ influence. Rising oil prices also play a large part in the situation. Broadcasters can follow local press for updates and stories.

    This is the site of the FAO Food Price Index, which tracks prices of staple commodities monthly: http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/foodpricesindex/en/

    Here are some recent reports from East Africa regarding rising food prices:

    -Africa turmoil looms over food price rise http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2011/05/25/Africa-turmoil-looms-over-food-price-rise/UPI-45461306346645/

    -Uganda protests: ‘Walking to work’ amid the tear gas and rubber bullets http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/05/25/f-uganda-protests-besigye.html

    -Tanzania Exports Ban Heralds Rise in Regional Maize Prices http://allafrica.com/stories/201105230375.html

    -Kenya Cuts Its Growth Forecast for This Year on Higher Food, Fuel Prices http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-17/kenya-s-economy-expanded-5-6-in-2010-as-agriculture-industry-recovered.html

    -Kenya worst hit by rising global food prices in region http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/Kenya+worst+hit+by+rising+global+food+prices+in+region/-/539550/1156548/-/iql3gt/-/index.html

    Here you can read two Farm Radio Weekly stories from earlier this year on how rising food prices are affecting farmers:

    Mali: Soaring grain prices worry farmers http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/03/14/mali-soaring-grain-prices-worry-farmers-by-soumaila-t-diarra-from-farm-radio-weekly-in-mali/

    Zambia: Small-scale farmer worries about rising food prices http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/02/07/zambia-small-scale-farmer-worries-about-rising-food-prices-by-brian-moonga-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-zambia/

    For program ideas and other links, please also refer to the Notes to Broadcasters on this topic prepared earlier this year: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/03/14/notes-to-broadcasters-on-food-price-rises/