Resolving the Food Crisis
A New Policy Report from GDAE-IATP , January 2012
Resolving the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007
Timothy A. Wise and Sophia Murphy
Download the full report.
The spikes in global food prices in 2007-8 served as a wake-up call to the global community on the inadequacies of our global food system. Commodity prices doubled, the estimated number of hungry people topped one billion, and food riots spread through the developing world. A second price spike in 2010-11, which drove the global food import bill for 2011 to an estimated $1.3 trillion, only deepened the sense that the policies and principles guiding agricultural development and food security were deeply flawed.
How well has the international community responded to these challenges? In this policy report from the Global Development and Environment Institute
* Reducing financial speculation on commodities markets - Reforms have been limited, leaving commodities markets prone to wide price swings. Proposals to increase the use of food reserves to limit volatility have been largely rejected.
* Limiting the further expansion of crops and land dedicated to biofuels - Over 40% of US corn now goes to ethanol production, backed by a range of government subsidies and incentives. Similar programs spur biofuel expansion in other industrialized countries, contributing to the underlying demand-growth that is driving agricultural prices steadily upward.
* Halting "land grabs" - As food-producing resources become more valuable, resource-constrained countries and speculative investors have bought or leased millions of acres of agricultural land in Africa and in other developing regions. This unregulated new market compromises the long-term food-producing capacity of developing countries while dispossessing those who have traditionally worked the land.
The report, "Resolving the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007
Download the Executive Summary <http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/rp/ResolvingFoodCrisisExecSumm.pdf>
Read "Resolving the Food Crisis: Global leaders fail to make crucial reforms
See an interview with the authors on Real News Network
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