Javier Blas in London, Courtney Weaver in Moscow and Simon Mundy in Johannesburg
Friday, September 3, 2010
Russia announced a 12-month extension of its grain export ban on Thursday, raising fears about a return to the food shortages and riots of 2007-08 which spread through developing countries dependent on imports.
The announcement by Vladimir Putin came as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation called an emergency meeting to discuss the wheat shortage, and riots in Mozambique left seven dead.
The unrest in Maputo, in which 280 people were also injured, followed the government’s decision to raise bread prices by 30 per cent. Police opened fire on demonstrators after thousands turned out to protest against the price hikes, burning tyres and looting food warehouses.
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Although agricultural officials and traders insist that wheat and other crop supplies are more abundant than in 2007-08, officials fear the deadly Mozambique riots could be replicated.
The 2007-08 food shortages, the most severe in 30 years, set off riots in countries from Bangladesh to Mexico, and helped to trigger the collapse of governments in Haiti and Madagascar.
This article was posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 at 3:05 am