Agriculture stressed in global high prices for fuel and food

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 11, 2011

THE current discussions on global high food and fuel prices have placed the emphasis on agricultural products and policies on which PNG’s economy grew before the onset of mining activities.
The recently launched United Nations economic and social commission for the Asia-Pacific (Escap) report by Bank of PNG acting governor Benny Popoitai revealed that already across the region, high food and energy prices last year had seen nearly 19 million people now living in poverty.
The situation has made it hard for countries’ to achieve the first millennium development goal of poverty reduction.
Popoitai said the problem could be addressed should regional initiatives in the medium term to address the neglect of the agricultural sector and placing more emphasis on strengthening the supply response in policies.
The report also showed that high food prices will greatly impact on livelihoods in developing economies due to the high share of food in consumption of the poor, which is already outpacing inflation in many countries in the region.