United nations officials have raised the alarm on a looming global food crisis that threatens to leave millions starving.
A joint statement by three top UN agencies highlights a string of issues that are leading to increasingly frequent problems.
And it singles out poor people in countries which serve up food to the wealthy as among those most likely to starve.
The UN urged nations to "act urgently" to avoid the impact of price shocks that created a global food crisis in 2007-8.
Wheat prices shot up by 25 per cent in July alone on the back of drought-hit harvests in the US, Russia and across Africa.
UN officials Jose Graziano da Silva, Kanayo Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin, representing the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme (WFP), said high food prices "are a symptom, not the disease."
Global grain production has been hit by drought "virtually every other year since 2007," they said.
And they singled out the use of food stock for biofuel and animal feed as another factor in rising food prices.
WFP costs alone are set to rise by £125 million a year because of soaring grain prices.
The UN called for cash to be ploughed into "agriculture and social protection, including programmes that help poor people to access food that has become unaffordable in their local markets."
It also said that the diversion of food crops for biofuel should be reconsidered.