French president proposes strategic food stockpile
Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20PM
I propose to implement market management and crisis management policies by setting up strategic stocks." French President Francois HollandeFrench President Francois Hollande has proposed the creation of strategic stockpiles of agricultural produce in an attempt to stave off drastic price hikes on international markets. "I propose to implement market management and crisis management policies by setting up strategic stocks," Hollande said in a speech to farmers in Rennes in northwestern France on Tuesday.
Grain prices have soared to record highs this summer due to drought in the US Midwest and the Black Sea regions, raising concerns of a repeat of 2008 when a spike in food prices touched off riots in some countries."I am convinced of the benefits of global governance for subjects as crucial as food security," Reuters quoted Hollande as saying. “I am pushing with heads of state and government for protection against (market) volatility in the form of emergency food stocks and I will continue to do this," Hollande added. On August 31, the World Bank (WB) warned of the hike in global food prices, which soared 10 percent in July from the month before. The Washington-based institution said in a statement the prices of both corn and wheat increased by 25 percent, and soybeans prices also jumped by 17 percent during June and July. The WB also stated that the drought and high temperatures in the United States and Eastern Europe, which have led to destruction of massive amounts of crops, were to blame for the soaring food prices. Earlier in August, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) urged the US government to stop using corn in producing biofuel, such as ethanol. However, Washington, which turns some 40 percent of its corn into biofuel, rejected the demand, claiming the practice reduces the price of gasoline for the Americans. KA/AS