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In May, global food prices increased 1.2 percent, reaching their highest level since October 2017 . This upward trajectory is having a disproportionate impact in Africa, where the share of household income spent on food is also rising.To ensure food security, governments must work quickly to reverse these trends, and one place to start is by policing the producers who are feeding the frenzy.According to data compiled by the World Economic Forum, four of the world's top five countries in terms of food expenditure are in Africa. Nigeria leads the list, with a staggering 56.4 percent of household income in 2015 spent on food, followed by Kenya (46.7 percent), Cameroon (45.6 percent) and Algeria (42.5 percent). By comparison, consumers in the United States spend the least globally (6.4 percent), far less than people in emerging economies like Brazil (16 percent) and India (30 percent).One reason for the distortion is the price of food relative to income. As Africa urbanizes, people are buying more imported semi- or fully-processed foods, which cost more than locally produced foods. These prices hit consumers both directly and indirectly (owing to pass-through of higher input costs by food conglomerates and service providers).
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