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Fact 8: Global food prices grew about 170 per cent between 2000 and 2010. In some East African countries staple food prices temporarily rose by 1,300 per cent.


International staple food prices soared up by 170 per cent between 2000 and 2010. In some parts of Africa, regional and local price fluctuations were much bigger. Especially in East Africa price volatility was exceptionally high. For example, maize prices in Kampala (Uganda) peaked in June 2011 at $466 per ton almost four times higher than in the previous year. In Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, prices for Sorghum quadrupled within nine months to $0.56 per kilogramme which was 13 times as much as in 2000. High food prices in combination with a bad harvest due to drought made ten million people dependent on food aid.

Source: FAO GIEWS Food Price Data and Analysis Tool


Box: Bumpy market access in Sub-Saharan countries

Institutional and physical market access for agricultural products is severely underdeveloped in Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 30 per cent of the rural population need to travel more than five hours to the closest market, about 80 per cent need more than two hours to reach the next market. 

Sparsely populated areas and a missing road infrastructure lead to high transport costs, which hinder the development of, and the access to agricultural input (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides) and selling markets. Further unfavourable conditions are weakly developed or unreliable market and price information systems (although mobile phone services are improving the situation in some regions) in combination with a generally low regional and interregional trade volume. These restraints impede the creation of markets and agricultural value chains.

Source: World Development Report 2008: 57