Costs also have been pushed up by a rebound in global commodity prices, especially for soy destined for Asian consumption. That has prompted a shift in Argentina and elsewhere to produce more for export, which has led to local shortages of beef and other food. The global financial crisis hurt food production in some countries by making it harder for farmers to get credit for seed and supplies.
In Mauritania in West Africa, rice prices doubled over the first three months of the year, according to the World Food Program. Over the same period, the price of corn rose 59 percent in Zimbabwe and 57 percent in neighboring Mozambique.
Image: In this picture taken on May 26, 2010, Pakistani workers stitch sacks of rice at a factory on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan.