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Abstract

The paper examines the effects of the phenomenon of soaring world food prices in a typical Low Income Food Deficit Country (LIFDC), Nepal. Steep rises in the prices of agricultural products are rare in Nepal and the outcomes of events on international markets have been exacerbated by a number of factors both of local and international origin, leading to a decline of the food security status of the most vulnerable households. The paper begins with a brief account of the recent evolution of rising commodity prices on world markets, providing global statistics for major agricultural products. A detailed analysis of the internal causes that have led, at the same time, to substantial increases in food prices in the Nepalese domestic market follows, and the detrimental repercussions on the food security status of households is described, together with the possible further consequences in the immediate future. The paper provides suggestions and recommendations for countervailing actions to be taken in order to tackle the issue of food insecurity at the grass root level so as to mitigate its effects, with special regard to the most vulnerable strata of the population, distinguishing between strategies applicable in the short, medium and long term.

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