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U.N. summit looks at rising food prices

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization seal.

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: Rising world food prices will be the topic of an emergency U.N. meeting being held today in Rome. The aim is to restore stability in the food markets and avoid riots.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy reports.


DUNCAN KENNEDY: Russian harvests hit by drought, flooding in Pakistan and China, water shortages in Brazil -- all big food-producing nations and all facing problems. And that means prices are going up. Take the cost of buckwheat in Russia for example: It's risen by 11 percent this month alone. Elsewhere, meat and sugar prices have hit a 20-year high. There have already been riots in Mozambique over the price rises.

Rob Subbaraman from Nomura Bank, says there will be more rises in food prices as people get better off.

ROB SUBBARAMAN: In these developing economies, there's a growing appetite to have higher calorie intake. Wanting more meat, more fruit, more milk -- and these things are very important.

The organizers of today's summit intend to share information and coordinate strategies to avoid a repeat of what happened three years ago, when there were riots in a number of countries as cereal and other prices soared.

In Rome, I'm the BBC's Duncan Kennedy for Marketplace.

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