According to sources, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, or the FAO, has reported a decrease in food prices worldwide. And that is good news for the people of the Caribbean Islands as a whole.
The United Nations report indicates the prices remain higher than a year ago but continue to fall gradually. The prices indexed were for five main items, dairy, sugar, meat, cereal, and vegetable oil. All five price points saw a decrease from July to August.
In fact, for the past five months, the index has been steadily dropping. This is a welcomed piece of news considering the former reports last March. In February of 2022, the food prices were at a record high, and the impact was devastating.
High Food Costs Impact on Tourism
Without tourism, the islands of the Caribbean would not be able to thrive. Indeed, tourism provides economic stability. But with the record high food prices and lack of supply, the basic welfare and economy of the islands suffer. Tourism demands food supply, but so do the locals of the area. And imports are the only way to get many fertilizers, grains, and seeds used to support the industries of the Caribbean.
Fighting Food Insecurity
Unfortunately, 40 – 45% of the Caribbean population report food insecurity due to extreme prices and lack of supply. So, what are the people to do? In order to feed their families, the poorest of the people will change their diet to foods that fill but do not provide the nutrients needed for growth and development.
The effects of poor nutrition are devastating and will continue if the food price index remains high. According to World Bank—“ When nutritional needs are not met, people have lower productivity and inadequate nutrition has irreversible effects on a child’s physical and mental development. Thus, the crisis we are witnessing today may affect not only the individual but also the longer-term growth prospects of countries within the region.”
Therefore, the lowered pricing is an encouraging report in a time when there are so many needing some good news.
CITED: today.CARICOM.org, worldbank.org