Organizers of the Middle East's largest Agricultural Exhibition said that while countries around the world are facing the risk of declining foodstuffs, the GCC States must reduce their dependence on food imports. “There are significant factors such as global climate warming, dollar depreciation, population explosion and even bio-fuel alternatives that are contributing to the creation of the 21st century’s biggest crisis”, the exhibition chairman said.
According to World Bank data, global food prices rose by 75% since 2000, while wheat prices rose 200%. Rising grain prices are exerting pressure on the costs of meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. In addition, the conversion of large areas of agricultural land for bio-fuel crops contributes to the reduction of global food production at a time when demand tends to rise.
al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, March 19, 2008