Fragility / Commodities

Maximo Torero Cullen on the Looming Food Crisis

Maximo Torero Cullen

July 28, 2022

FAO Chief Economist says helping vulnerable countries finance the higher cost of food imports would help avoid food shortages and minimize the risk of social unrest. (Photo: Courtesy of FAO)

In This Episode

Inflation has pushed up prices for almost everything, but rising food prices could mean life or death for people in countries already struggling with conflict, economic downturns, and the effects of climate change. Maximo Torero Cullen is Chief Economist for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, which tracks global food security. In this podcast, Torero says wheat and fertilizer supply shortages have driven up prices and increased food import bills for the most vulnerable countries by more than 25 billion dollars, putting 1.7 billion people at risk of going hungry. Transcript

Maximo Torero Cullen is Chief Economist for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

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Bruce Edwards

International Monetary Fund

Bruce Edwards produces the IMF podcast program. He's an award-winning audio producer and journalist who's covered armed conflicts, social unrest, and natural disasters from all corners of the world. He believes economists have an important role in solving the world's problems and aspires to showcase their research in every IMF podcast.

Rhoda Metcalfe


Rhoda Metcalfe is an independent journalist and audio producer. Her reporting on the armed conflict in Colombia in the late 90s, as well as her work in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa has won several awards. She now produces podcasts and radio features from Washington DC and is a regular contributor to the IMF Podcast program.