The cost of food staples is set to more than double over the next two decades, Oxfam says, as we enter a “permanent food crisis." World hunger had steadily decreased for decades, the Guardian reports, but with demand exceeding production, the numbers of hungry people are once again on the rise. Climate change, loss of natural resources, the burgeoning global population, and biofuels are to blame as agricultural yields’ average growth rate will likely drop to less than 1% in the next 10 years.
“We are sleepwalking towards an age of avoidable crisis,” said Oxfam’s chief executive. “One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone. The food system must be overhauled.” The group is urging G20 leaders to set up new rules for food markets; it also says food reserves must be boosted and western governments should halt biofuels programs.