Guide for policy and programmatic actions at country level to address high food prices

This guide stresses that low-income, food-deficit countries have been hit hard by high food prices in recent years. Many of these countries have to pay larger food import bills when food prices are soaring. Almost all countries in Africa are net importers of cereals.
The people most affected by higher food prices are net food buyers such as urban residents and small farmers, fishers, foresters, pastoralists and agricultural labourers who do not produce enough food to cover their needs. The poorest among them spend more than 70 to 75 per cent of their income on buying food. Net food-exporters should benefit from high food prices and could experience an improvement in their terms of trade and more income. However, experience of the 2007/2008 food crisis showed that a variety of supply side constraints limited the supply response to higher prices in most developing countries. The FAO guide emphasizes that there is no