Food ImportsTo Increase Across Africa As Prices Of Agricultural Commodities Set To Drop- Report


Yemisi Izuora

The growth in agriculture and fish trade is expected to slow to about half the previous decade’s growth rate, Paris-based think tank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

“Real prices of most agricultural and fish commodities are expected to decline slightly over the 10-year Outlook period,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said at the launch of the report ‘Agriculture Outlook 2017-2026’ in Paris.

As seen in the past, he said in a statement, that unexpected events can easily take markets away from these central trends, so it is essential that governments continue joint efforts to provide stability to world food markets.

He also said: “It is equally important that we look ahead as we seek to meet the fundamental challenge facing world food and agriculture: to ensure access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food for a growing world population, while at the same time using natural resources more sustainably and making an effective contribution to mitigating climate change.” According to the report, future growth in crop production is projected to be principally attained through higher yields, while the growth in global food demand for virtually all commodities is anticipated to be less than in the previous decade. Similarly, farm trade is also likely to slow down.

“Net exports are projected to increase from the Americas, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, while net imports are expected to increase across other Asian and African countries,” the report said.

Stating that exports remain concentrated in a few supplying countries contrasting with widely dispersed imports, the report said this may imply a greater susceptibility of world markets to supply shocks, stemming from natural and policy factors, rather than demand shocks. 

As per the report, additional calories and protein are expected to come mainly from vegetable oil, sugar and dairy products.

By 2026, calorie availability is projected to reach 2,450 kcal per day on average in the least developed countries and exceed 3,000 kcal per day in other developing countries. 

“Still, food insecurity will remain a critical global concern, and the coexistence of malnutrition in all its forms poses new challenges in many countries,” it observed.

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