Growing rice output vital for Asia

Bad weather, rising affluence, increasing demand for grain-intensive meat and under-investment in agriculture have contributed to the rises. Low interest rates may also play a part, as investors use cheap money to trade in farm and energy commodities, driving prices higher. If unchecked, this could hit consumer spending in Asia, which is leading the revival of the global economy. France, as chair of the Group of 20 leading economies this year, considers it a priority to have a collective response to 'excessive volatility' in food and energy prices. Rising food costs have raised fears of a repeat of the global spiral in 2007 and 2008, when prices of rice and wheat, Asia's largest staple food items, rose sharply. Rice prices trebled in the six months to May 2008, prompting some exporting countries to restrict overseas sales to ensure there was enough for home consumption. Ri...

Full article: http://wildsingaporenews.blogspot.com/2011/01/growing-ric...

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