Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FAO and IFPRI reports for the World Food Day 08/10

The State of Food Insecurity in theWorld 2011, FAO, October 2011
This year’s report focuses on the costs of food price volatility, as well as the dangers and opportunities presented by high food prices. Climate change and an increased frequency of weather shocks, increased linkages between energy and agricultural markets due to growing demand for biofuels, and increased financialization of food and agricultural commodities all suggest that price volatility is here to stay.

See also: UN says Food Prices to Remain High, Financial Times, October 10
The jump in prices for grain and other staples led to riots during the 2007-08 food crisis and more recently central banks in Asia have tightened monetary policy to combat food inflation.

The International Food Price Research Institute (IFPRI) has released a report titled "2011 Global Hunger Index: The challenge of hunger: Taming price spikes and excessive food prices volatility."

The report underscores that, though global hunger has declined since 1990, it remains at a serious level, with the highest hunger scores in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The report describes progress in Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger and Viet Nam.
See also [IFPRI Press Release] It notes the negative impacts of rising and volatile prices attributing the price changes to increasing use of food crops for biofuels, extreme weather and climate change, and increased volume of trading in commodity futures markets. In particular, it underlines that concentrated export markets leaves food importing countries dependent on just a few countries. The report suggests addressing price spikes and volatility by revising biofuel policies, regulating financial activity on food markets, and adapting to and mitigating climate change. 

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