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The State of Food and Agriculture 1957

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 1957

In addition to the usual review of the recent world food and agriculture situation, this edition of The State of Food and Agriculture also studies the factors influencing the trend of food consumption, as well as postwar changes in some institutional factors affecting agriculture.

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World review and outlook

The main trends that have characterized the food and agricultural situation of recent years continued in 1956/57. World agricultural production again increased at a rate rather over 1 percent faster than the growth of world population, and a similar over-all increase is expected for 1957/5S, in spite of a possible slight reduction in North American output. The tendency of prices to move against farmers continued. On world markets this meant that a further sharp rise in the volume of agricultural trade brought no increase in real purchasing power to agricultural exporters. On domestic markets a rise in farm prices, due in some cases to higher price supports, was, in most countries for which data are available, exceeded by the rise in prices paid by farmers. Thus there were further declines in farm incomes in several countries, though in some others the increase in the volume of production was sufficient to offset the effect of price changes. Retail food prices rose in almost a,11 countries, reflecting renewed inflationary pressures, as well as increased farm prices and the lowering of consumer subsidies in some cases. Consumption appears in general to have kept pace with the growth of production and, where active economic development is under way, to have sometimes exceeded it, necessitating larger imports in many countries. Surplus stocks of most commodities showed no further rise and for some products began to decline; the main exception was coarse grains stocks which again rose sharply.

English

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