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IMF, World Bank, finance officials: Can they tame food price hikes?

A series of calamities, including global warming, the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has driven food prices up worldwide, almost 40% over the past two years, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Africa, with its heavy reliance on imports for key staples, such as wheat, palm oil and rice, has been among the regions hardest hit, with consumer prices up 19% in the past year alone.

Related increases in the price of fuel and fertiliser have only made things worse by straining domestic food production and distribution, while the rising value of the US greenback has made imports of dollar-denominated items from refined petroleum to agrochemicals far more expensive.

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