WASHINGTON — With the worst drought in half a century withering corn across the Midwest, agricultural experts on Tuesday urged international action to prevent the global spike infood prices from causing global hunger.
The directors of three major United Nations food and agriculture programs sounded the alarm both on the immediate problem of high food prices and the “long-term issue of how we produce, trade and consume food in an age of increasing population, demand and climate change.”
Agricultural production has fallen in a number of major crop exporters this summer. Sweltering heat and a severe drought have damaged the corn crop in the United States. Droughts have also hit Russia and Ukraine, hurting the wheat harvest, as well as Brazil, affecting soybean production.
Low yields have translated into high prices. Last week, the World Bank reported that food prices climbed 10 percent from June to July, with the price of both corn and wheat jumping 25 percent to records. Soybean prices climbed 17 percent over the same period, and rice prices declined moderately, the Washington-based institution said.