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Food price volatility and hunger alleviation – can Cannes work?

Author(s): Hajkowicz Stefan | Negra Christine | Barnett Paul | Clark Megan | Harch Bronwyn | Keating Brian

Journal: Agriculture & Food Security
ISSN 2048-7010

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Food price volatility | food security | hunger alleviation | policy responses | G20 action plan | Cannes Summit

Abstract Recent years have seen global food prices rise and become more volatile. Price surges in 2008 and 2011 held devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of people and negatively impacted many more. Today one billion people are hungry. The issue is a high priority for many international agencies and national governments. At the Cannes Summit in November 2011, the G20 leaders agreed to implement five objectives aiming to mitigate food price volatility and protect vulnerable persons. To succeed, the global community must now translate these high level policy objectives into practical actions. In this paper, we describe challenges and unresolved dilemmas before the global community in implementing these five objectives. The paper describes recent food price volatility trends and an evaluation of possible causes. Special attention is given to climate change and water scarcity, which have the potential to impact food prices to a much greater extent in coming decades. We conclude the world needs an improved knowledge base and new analytical capabilities, developed in parallel with the implementation of practical policy actions, to manage food price volatility and reduce hunger and malnutrition. This requires major innovations and paradigm shifts by the global community.
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