On December 12, nearly 200 countries signed the landmark COP21 Paris agreement into effect. The agreement’s major achievement is a commitment to keep global temperature increases "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to further limit increases to 1.5C by 2100.

BY: David Laborde and Eugenio Díaz-Bonilla, IFPRI

Export subsidies for agriculture have been a contentious issue. A particular anomaly in the multilateral trading system framework is that while export subsidies in industrial products have been banned under WTO rules, they are still allowed for agricultural products, including some that are rather industrialized, such as dairy and meat products.

Photo Credit: Adam Cohn (flickr)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the CGIAR research program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) today launched a new initiative to enhance global cooperation on measuring and reducing food loss and waste. The G20 agriculture ministers requested FAO and IFPRI to launch this initiative in Istanbul, Turkey, this past May.

Crane hauling fertilizer. Photo Credit: Adam Cohn (flickr)

Global crop prices continued their fall in November according to the FAO Food Price Index and the AMIS Market Monitor, both released this week. Overall favorable production levels and high inventories, combined with a strong US dollar, have contributed to weakening prices. Meat prices saw the most dramatic fall last month, down 23 percent.

Corn farming in Brazil. Photo Credit: Owen Cortner

The FAO Monthly News Report on Grains (MNR) provides a collection of news articles on issues or factors considered critical in shaping the regional/global grains economy, as well as links to reports, statistics, and upcoming events. The latest MNR highlights how low grain prices and high stockpiles are catalyzing changes in subsidy and export policies and influencing crop choices among farmers for the 2016 growing season and beyond.

WTO Public Forum, October 2015. Photo Credit: WTO/Studio Casagrande

BY: Joseph Glauber, IFPRI

On November 9, IFPRI co-hosted a conference with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and FAO in Geneva on agricultural trade outcomes at the upcoming Nairobi Ministerial. The conference brought together current and former trade officials and experts from around the world to talk about the importance of trade for food security and rural development.

In the face of price spikes, climate change, and other stressors from the national to the global scale, the promotion of resilience has gained traction in the development community as a means of insuring that populations vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity are equipped with the tools to survive and even thrive in our unpredictable world.

Sugarcane harvester in Brazil. Photo credit: flickr (John McQuaid)

The FAO Food Price Index averaged nearly 162 points in October, up 3.9 percent from the previous month. This was the sharpest increase since July 2012, but the index is still down 16 percent from this time last year.

Scientists, advocates, researchers, and political leaders are preparing to head to Paris for Conference of Parties (COP21) as the impacts of heat, drought, and other extreme weather events-- climate challenges that once seemed a concern for the distant future-- are becoming more immediate. The impacts of climate change on agricultural commodities and trade need to be analyzed in the context of implications for agricultural production, food security, and resource use.

In a new book, Macroeconomics, Agriculture, and Food Security: A Guide to Policy Analysis in Developing Countries, IFPRI’s Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla unpacks the significant and complex interplay between policies within a state’s economic program-- fiscal policy, monetary policy, exchange rate policy, and trade policy—and the impact of those relationships on agricultural development and food security.