For several years, the World Bank has been announcing its plans to find solutions to solve the world food crisis, whereby vast swathes of the world’s population find it increasingly difficult to put food on the family table, while the banks bail each other out and fat cat bankers get fatter. The morality of the issue is staggeringly incomprehensible.
The morality of the issue is staggeringly incomprehensible. While the world’s economy lurched from crisis to crisis, from disaster to disaster, the prices for staple foods also underwent vast changes, for the worse of course.
According to the World Bank Development Prospects Group, the price of fertilisers rose fivefold between 2000 and 2008; the price of energy by 3.5 times and the price of food grains threefold. Between 2007 and 2010, the real crop food prices (2004=100) rose from 130 to 194 for maize; from 144 to 156 for wheat; 128 to 155 for rice; 119 to 142 for soybeans; 136 to 160 for soybean oil and 133 to 176 for sugar.
In the report World Bank’s Response to the Food Crisis, it is apparent that domestic food prices have risen, the impact becoming worse for those who can least afford it. The report states that food grain prices more than doubled from 2006 and “60 per cent of this increase has occurred since January 2008”. Furthermore, the WB Department of Agriculture has confirmed that prices are likely to remain above 2004 level until 2015 at least for most food crops.
No, these are reducing. So what is the benefit of the current market oriented capitalist monetarist model? The World Bank describes “macro-policy factors” as being a main player behind the hike in food prices. This is in other words, imperialism and neo-colonialism because the effects of imperialistic and colonialist policies over developing economies by former Imperial powers have never been broken, the yolk remains.
It is cheaper for African products to travel to Europe than for African products to travel from one region of Africa to another.
Yet we are not speaking only of Africa in this humiliation for humanity. In Pakistan, wheat prices rose by 24% from February 2009 to February 2010; the same rose 14% in India; between 2009 and 2010, rice prices rose by 27% in Bangladesh. From November 2009 to February 2010, in Burundi, the price of beans rose by 58%.
Zimbabwe, Chad, Sudan, Haiti, Somalia, Tanzania, Mali are all countries seriously affected by this scourge.
The globalization of commerce should have meant the globalization of common values. Unfortunately not. Globalization is just another word for imperialism.
*The post is written by – Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY