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According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO), the World food price index averaged 159.3 points in March, breaking an earlier record of 137.6 points scaled 11 years ago in February 2011.


  • The FAO index has exhibited huge volatility in the last two years through the Covid-19 pandemic and now the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • But as demand returned with governments lifting economic activity and movement restrictions, supply chain disruptions — from shortages of everything, from harvesting labourers to packaging materials and shipping containers — came to the fore.
  • The FAO’s cereal and vegetable oil price indices hit record highs of 170.1 points and 248.6 points, respectively, in March 2021.
  • Port closures in the Black Sea and Azov Sea, plus Russian banks being cut off from the international payments system, have resulted in massive shipping disruptions from this key agri-commodities supply region.

FAOs Food Price Index

  • It was introduced in 1996 as a public good to help in monitoring developments in the global agricultural commodity markets. Base Period: 2014-16.
  • The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.
  • It measures changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.

Food and Agriculture Organization

  • FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16th October. The day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the founding of the FAO in 1945.
  • It is one of the UN food aid organisations based in Rome (Italy). Its sister bodies are the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
  • Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).
  • Monitors the Desert Locust situation throughout the world.
  • The Codex Alimentarius Commission or CAC is the body responsible for all matters regarding the implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
  • The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was adopted by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the FAO in 2001.