13 May 2008

ADB predicts many people in Pacific region will be hit hard by high food prices

10:37 am on 13 May 2008

The Asian Development Bank predicts many people in the region will be hugely hit in their pockets by a surge in world food prices this year.

It says Pacific countries already feel the rise in oil prices, but food will also become a lot more expensive, which will push another five percent of people into poverty.

A bank's economist, Craig Sugden, says the price for rice and wheat could increase by one hundred percent.

"There's a waive of high prices coming through the region. There's a short period in which the region can prepare for these prices, but even so, there's going to be a major shock to the region over the year."

Craig Sugden says governments need to re-prioritise their budgets, invest more in rural development and encourage farmers to grow more staple food.