Food security and rising basic commodity prices are becoming a prime concern for governments around the world, and not just in the Arab region. Old enemies seemingly come together over the issue of food security, as evidenced by the Indian prime minister’s authorization of emergency onion imports from Pakistan, after the domestic price of Indian onion trebled in just one month.
Rising Indian onion prices are no joke - as at least two Indian governments have been felled by the rising price of onions.
Other countries have scrambled to contain rising domestic prices, with South Korea releasing emergency supplies of cabbage, and mackerel, and the Indonesian government encouraging people to grow their own chilies, as price of this commodity has quadrupled in barely a year.
Food inflation, as headline figures from China now illustrate, are making an awkward situation also worse for governments that wish to pursue high economic growth, while controlling domestic inflation at the same time.
The recent massive floods in Australia and Brazil are also putting pressure on food prices, with forecasts of at least a 30% rise in food prices for Australia in the coming months.
This will have a knock on effect on Australian export prices to Asia and the Middle East for products such as wheat, other grains, sugar cane, as well as fruit and vegetables.
Adding to these woes, the recent Russian drought and fire in the wheat heartland has forced Russia to move closer to being a wheat importing nation.