High food prices: an analysis of causes, implications and solutions


This study will outline the supply and demand side factors. Simple graphics will be used to demonstrate key points. An outline: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Sharp food price rises Worldwide phenomenon WHY HAVE FOOD PRICES BEEN RISING SO RAPIDLY? Supplyside: food production trends, investment and R&D spending, low yields especially in developing countries, droughts/poor weather in major food production regions, input price rises , stocks run down, government restrictions, constraints on agricultural supply response in developing countries Demandside: food demand trends, rising populations, rising incomes and consumers’ shift to meats, biofuels demand, speculation. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS Big impacts on developing world's poor Unrest and political instability Policy responses so far APPROPRIATE POLICY RESPONSES TO FIX THE CRISIS Less government intervention in agricultural markets; free and open trade; use the science to improve yields.


National Rural Issues

Research Organisation

Centre for International Economics

Objective Summary

To shift thinking at a major meeting of world farmers on the need for a more marketorientated agriculture. The food crisis has arisen because supply has not been able to keep up with demand. There has been too little investment in agriculture in those countries best able to produce an exportable surplus. The reason is too much government intervention and restriction of world trade. Agriculture remains one of the most highly distorted world markets. There is a real risk that agricultural producers perversely resort to yet more protection as a solution to the food crisis. That would hurt Australian farmers and it is the wrong approach.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Project Completion Date

Monday, June 30, 2008

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

An environmentally sustainable Australia

National Priority

Advanced Technology

National Priority

NRI-National Rural Issues


Related publications


High Food Prices - Causes, implications and solutions