Food price rises spark protests, hoarding

Food price rises spark protests, hoarding
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First Published: Mon, Apr 28 2008. 02 43 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Apr 28 2008. 02 43 PM IST
Anger over high food prices has sparked protests in several countries. Surging food prices have posed a particular risk to poor economies. Here are some details of recent price rise protests and disturbances:
* BURKINA FASO -- Unions called a general strike in April over soaring costs of food and fuel that triggered riots in February. The government extended a suspension of import duties on staple foods.
* CAMEROON -- At least 24 people were killed in protests that erupted in February and were linked partly to rising living costs. Human rights activists put the death toll at 100. The government raised state salaries and suspended customs duties on basic foodstuffs.
* IVORY COAST -- Police in Ivory Coast fired teargas at the end of March to disperse demonstrators protesting against steep price rises in the commercial capital, Abidjan.
* MAURITANIA -- Violent protests against the sharp rise in grain prices in Mauritania spread last November to the capital Nouakchott.
* MOZAMBIQUE -- At least six people were killed in Mozambique in protests that erupted in February over high fuel prices and living costs. The government agreed to cut the price of diesel fuel for minibus taxis.
* SENEGAL -- More than 1,000 people, some carrying empty rice sacks, marched through Senegal’s capital Dakar on April 26 to protest against rising food prices, the latest such demonstration in impoverished West Africa.
* SOUTH AFRICA -- Thousands of members of South Africa’s powerful labour federation marched through Johannesburg in April to protest against higher food and electricity prices.
* HAITI -- Protests in Haiti over high prices for rice brought down the government. At least six people were killed in two weeks of riots and demonstrations in the poorest country in the Americas.
* ARGENTINA -- Argentine farmers went on strike for three weeks until early April over tax policies and other government measures, including export bans, aimed at taming food price inflation.
* PERU -- Peruvian farmers upset by rising fertilizer costs and seeking debt relief blocked key rail and road links in February. They said a free trade deal with the United States would flood markets with subsidized agricultural imports.
* BANGLADESH -- Factory workers rampaged at Fatullah, 12 km (8 miles) east of the capital, Dhaka, in protests against rising food prices, leaving at least 50 people injured. Retail prices of wheat, edible oil and pulses have doubled over the last 12 months.
* VIETNAM -- Vietnam moved to quell panic over rice supplies on April 28, banning speculation in the market after a “chaotic” buying binge highlighted growing global fears about food security.
* INDONESIA -- Soaring soybean prices have cut into the earnings of makers and vendors of tempeh, Indonesia’s traditional soybean cake, sparking protests in parts of Indonesia in recent months.
* AFGHANISTAN -- In the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad some 300 protesters took to the streets over food prices.
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First Published: Mon, Apr 28 2008. 02 43 PM IST