Resolving the Food Crisis:
GDAE-IATP Policy 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 and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Timothy A. Wise and Sophia Murphy argue that the recent crisis has been a catalyst for important policy reforms, but they conclude that governments have yet to address its underlying causes. They warn that the international community is avoiding deeper structural reforms, leaving the world at risk of another devastating spike in global food prices. Wise and Murphy call for urgent attention to three issues:
The report, “Resolving the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007,” is based on a comprehensive assessment of the policies and actions taken since 2007 by four international groups of actors: the UN, the G-20, the World Bank and international donors. The authors document the welcome renewal of attention to agricultural development and to the contributions of small-scale farmers and women. They also find encouraging signs of improvement in the attention to environmental issues, including climate change. But they warn that policy reforms fall well short of what is needed to meet the world’s current and future food needs in a sustainable way. Wise and Murphy put the onus on rich-country governments to take responsibility for their agricultural policies that are contributing to the fragility and volatility in food systems around the world and to support the renewed interest in many developing countries to increase agricultural development and reduce dependence on food imports.
the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007”
Learn more about GDAE's work on The Food Crisis and Agricultural Development .
Read more on IATP's work on food and agriculture.