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With the world still struggling to deal with a global financial downturn, can it now handle an impending food crisis?

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has sounded a clear warning saying the average price of essential edible items has peaked to its highest levels since the FAO started keeping records in 1990.

The cost of buying wheat has already gone up 48 per cent in the past 12 months and it could get worse as China, the world's largest wheat producer, braces for a severe drought.

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Corn prices have also soared more than 52 per cent in the same period, causing more hunger and misery for the world's poor.

Many are blaming a combination of extreme weather, profiteering and a rising global population for skyrocketing food costs.

On Thursday, we will discuss those issues with Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; and well-known thinker Lester Brown, who founded the 'Earth Policy Institute', a US-based environmental organisation.

You can join the conversation. Watch this episode of Riz Khan live on Thursday, February 10, at 1930GMT. Repeats will air on Friday at 0430GMT, 0830GMT and 1430GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera