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Food Prices to Double in 20 Years Without Action, Oxfam Says

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May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Prices for staple foods including corn will more than double in two decades unless action is taken, Oxfam International said in a report.

Prices will increase by 120 percent to 180 percent by 2030, with as much as half the increase caused by climate change, Oxfam said. The world’s poorest people, who spend up to 80 percent of their income on food, will be hardest hit, it said.

Food demand will rise by 70 percent by 2050 while the growth rate in agriculture yields is set to decline to less than 1 percent in the next decade, according to the Oxfam charity. World food prices already climbed to a record in February, according to the United Nations, helping to spur riots in northern Africa and the Middle East and spurring at least a dozen central banks to raise interest rates this year.

“The food system must be overhauled if we are to overcome the increasingly pressing challenges of climate change, spiraling food prices and the scarcity of land, water and energy,” Oxfam Chief Executive Officer Barbara Stocking said in a statement. The Oxfam Grow campaign is supported by Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Noble Prize Winner Desmond Tutu, Oxfam said.

Group of 20 nations should end “biofuel policies” and boost food reserves to make enough food available for growing populations, Oxfam said. One in four of the world’s hungry people live in India, it said. Governments meeting at a climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, in December, “must get the global climate fund up and running so that people can protect themselves from the impacts of climate change and are better equipped to grow the food they need,” Oxfam said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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