Food price inflation and the poor

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Masters in Development Theory and Policy in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management
Title Food price inflation and the poor
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL Ngidi 485560 Food Price Inflation​and the Poor (with corrections) .pdf?sequence=1
Food price inflation has been an important subject of debate internationally since
2008. This sharp increase in food prices experienced during 2008 lead to intense
research into the causes, dynamics and responses to this particular instance of food
price inflation. The international literature attributed food price inflation to such factors
as climate change, increases in energy costs and speculative activity in financial markets
for agricultural commodities. This research report undertakes a review of the
measurement of food price inflation in South Africa, broadly assessing how it is to be
linked to the poor in South Africa. The research report focuses on the work of
institutions concerned with the measurement of food price inflation in South Africa.
Different methodologies of identifying foods as food staples are looked at. Food prices
and trends are analysed using CPI data from January 2008 until October 2008, using
selected consumer price index series from Statistics South Africa. The research report
finds that the institutions studied show evidence of that higher food price inflation is
correlated with demographic markers of poverty, although the traditional measure, the
CPI, does not suggests that this is very extensive. This, it is argued, is due to the
calculation methodologies used in the published CPI, and the data period. The research
report then ends with an overview of the political economy of food in South Africa,
thereby makes recommendations as to why the measurement of food price inflation is
important for the poor.

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