Rice is one of the most important food staples in the world, especially Asia — from China to India, Japan to Vietnam, but also the Middle East, Africa, South America and the West as consumers turned away from wheat, made more expensive by the conflict in Ukraine.
The rising price is fueled largely by rising demand and low harvests in countries affected by severe weather, such as floods in Pakistan and droughts in Italy.
The UN FAO’s Food Price Index (FFPI), tracking the monthly international prices of cereals, vegetable oil, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 132.4 points last month. This is 1% lower than the previous December, but it averaged 143.7 points last year – more than 14% higher than the average value over 2021.
“It is important to remain vigilant and keep a strong focus on mitigating global food insecurity given that world food prices remain at elevated levels, with many staples near record highs, and with prices of rice increasing, and still many risks associated with future supplies”— FAO Chief Economist, Maximo Torero
For more information on the current food inflation crisis, our analysis: AgTech, can technology feed the world?