Photo credit: Matt Crampton

Futures prices for most staple food commodities have fallen since February because of market supply chain disruptions associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus and lower oil prices, among other factors. However, overall, price variability in the major agricultural commodity markets has remained relatively calm in the face of COVID-19-related shutdowns. Until recently, the exceptions to this relative calm have included hard wheat and coffee. Hard wheat saw moderate and high levels of price variability from April 9 to June 15.

Photo credit: Nithi Anand

In 2006, the Indian government launched the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This program guarantees rural households both the legal right to employment for up to 100 days per year and a minimum agricultural wage set at the state level. Since its launch in 2006, MGNREGS has become the largest public works project in the world, but questions remain about the program’s true effectiveness. In particular, critics have highlighted the program’s high costs, inefficiencies, and potential for corruption.

As concerns over COVID-19's potential impacts on food prices and food security continue, accurate and timely data and information are more crucial than ever. On May 8, the Food Security Portal hosted a webinar on near-real-time monitoring of food crisis risk factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, food price volatility, climate-driven shocks, conflict, and economic downturns.

Photo credit: GPE/Daisuka Kanazawa

An estimated 152 million children around the world are stuck in child labor. On the Day Against Child Labor (June 12), the FAO, in collaboration with the International Partnership for Cooperation on ending Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA), hosted an online discussion of this sweeping global problem. Meant to (L)earn: A discussion about child labour in agriculture, hosted by journalist Valériane Gauthier of France 24, highlighted the extent of child labour in agriculture and the action needed to eliminate this violation of human rights.

Photo credit: ©2011CIAT/NeilPalmer

The FAO Food Price Index plunged to a 17-month low in May, driven in large part by sustained negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices across all sub-indices declined with the exception of sugar prices.

Photo credit: ESSP

This post originally appeared on IFPRI's Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP) blog.

The share of households consuming dairy products in Addis Ababa has dropped by 11 percentage points since the COVID-19 crisis, seemingly linked to perceived risks of consuming dairy products. All income groups declined their consumption, except for the richest quintile where the share of consuming households changed little.

Photo credit: Patrick M. Loeff

The FAO Food Price Index fell for the third consecutive month in April as global markets continue to see the effects of COVID-19. The 3.4-percent decrease brought the Index to the lowest point seen since January 2019.

Photo credit: Sven Hansen

This post originally appeared on IFPRI.org.

Webinar hosted by the Food Security Portal

8 May 2020, 9:00 - 10:30 EDT

Background
Food security and nutrition security, particularly in
low-income countries, continue to face significant
challenges, from volatile food prices, climate
change-driven shocks, and conflict to pandemics