Growing concerns over rising global food prices

FRESNO, Calif.

The World Bank's food price index rose 29-percent in just one year. Corn, wheat and sugar prices all spiked. As a result, the cost of your groceries could rise as well.

Politically-charged protests in Iran have also been fueled by anger over rising food prices according to the United Nations.

Fresno State ag operations director Ganesan Srinivasan said globally many struggle to feed their families. Srinivasan explained, "The reason we see more unrest in poor countries is because on average families spend more than 50-60 percent on food of their income."

Mickey Paggi of the Center for agricultural business said, "We take it for granted in the United States."

Paggi said we should all be concerned over rising corn and wheat prices. "If corn prices hold up then everything that comes from corn is going to have to go up at some point, meat especially. You'll see meat and poultry, people that are big feeders of corn these prices are really high."

Cereal prices are expected to spike. The price of rice also saw an increase.

Several factors figured into the rising food costs. Paggi says they include growing demand, bad weather, rising fuel costs, as well as increased corn production for bio-fuel use. He said, "Now we use about the same amount for ethanol as we do as feed for livestock. It's about five billion bushels."

The ethanol industry said the impact of bio-fuels on rising food prices was "over-stated."

The UN believes global food prices will continue to rise.

Srinivasan said ag professors at Fresno State have used the global food situation as a teaching tool. They want students to understand how they can impact the world's needs.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.