Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2004

FAO report

Prices for agricultural commodities on world markets have fallen by around two percent per year during the last four decades. The good news is that falling prices mean cheaper food for poor people and poor, food-importing countries. The bad news is that the reduced prices mean loss of income and unemployment for the rural poor and for agriculturally based countries. The agricultural problems of poor nations are exacerbated by: agricultural subsidies in rich countries; tariffs on higher-value, processed products; and the inability of poorer farmers to diversify their production. This is the first issue of a new biennial publication of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). The report is available in Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish as well as English. (PDF, 55 pages.)

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