CANCUN, Mexico: As a result of climate change, the world will face a price surge in major staple foods by 2050, causing concerns for global food security, according to a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Prices could rise 11 to 78 percent for rice, 17 to 67 percent for wheat, and 42 to 131 percent for maize, as the result of lower yields of staple foods, the report said.
The food-price spike of 2008 has led to food riots in several countries. In 2010, the excessive heat and drought in Russia, and devastating floods in Pakistan, offered a glimpse of a future affected by extreme weather events.
The report highlights the need for increased investment in crop production.
“Investment in agriculture deserves high priority because without improved farm productivity, it will be impossible to meet the increasing demand for food from rising incomes and a growing world population,” said Mark Rosegrant, a co-author of the report.
International trade is also essential to offset changes in production and prices of key food commodities, and trade barriers could jeopardize regional food security, the report said.