All over the world food prices are increasing bit by bit. This has been due to an increase in population and climate change like events. For a while now scientists have predicted and anticipated a global famine to soon be in our midst. This year may be the beginning of that famine although there has been events building up to the famine in previous years, this year might be the year where we see a dramatic change in food prices for the worse.
China, the largest wheat producer in the world is going through a record drought that is threatening to push global food prices even higher than it is now. China consumes more than half of what they grow and also stores roughly 55 million tons of wheat in reserve is facing the prospect of a failed winter crop. This failure in production can affect the already stressed state of global food prices.
In major wheat producing areas around China there has been less than 30% below normal rainfall since October. The areas experiencing drought account for two thirds of what production. The Shandong province which is the second largest wheat producer in China have not had more than an inch of rainfall since September, this event has led it to be called the worst drought in 200 years.
Despite this not all of the wheat is at risk. The drought will be responsible for destroying only a third of what is being grown. A closer and more demanding threat for China is less than average snowfall in the winter that could kill off the seeds laying dormant waiting for spring.
In late 2010 food prices increased dramatically due to the rising price of oil, increased demand for food and Russia’s drought that led to the end of wheat exports from Russia. The inflation of food prices is having also a contributing factor in the political unrest currently taking place in Tunisia and Egypt.
These volatile rise of food prices is beginning to have detrimental affects on a variety of things that will lead to even more problems. China has viewed this drought as it’s top priority with officials visiting drought ravaged areas. Reuters news has reported from Beijing stating that within some areas of the Shandong province there are firetrucks regularly bringing in drinking water for about 250,000 people. In the drought affected areas there are 2.6 million people and 2.8 million livestock that are facing water shortages.
With major food producing countries being affected by floods, droughts etc. A coming famine is not far on the horizon. The weather is only partly responsible for affecting food production there are other varies other reasons as well and we if can’t at least control the man responsible factors we are most definitely at a high risk of global famine.