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Asia Affected by Rising Food Prices
Source: straitstimes.com
Source Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Created: Sep 20, 2010

SINGAPORE - SINGAPOREAN housewife Nursiah Sabada could only shrug in resignation as she shopped for food ahead of the holiday weekend marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

'It's the same price being quoted everywhere, and I don't have much choice because of the festive season,' she told AFP after purchasing three kilograms of beef for the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

She was not alone in feeling the pinch, and the rise in beef prices in import-dependent Singapore had little to do with the festival itself.

Millions of Asians like Nursiah are spending more to put food on the table as a result of supply disruptions from floods and drought, while changing patterns of consumption are expected to put long-term pressure on prices.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will hold a special one-day meeting to discuss rising world prices in Rome on Sep 24.

While analysts say the situation is less severe than the one experienced in Asia in 2008, when soaring food costs triggered social unrest in poorer parts of the region, chances of prices easing anytime soon are remote. -- AFP
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