Photo Credit: Martin LaBar

The most recent edition of the FAO Food Price Index rose to 179.1 points in July, up 3.9 points from June and 10.2 percent above July 2016 levels. This marks the third month of consecutive increase. Supply constraints and currency movements supported to cereal, sugar, and dairy prices. Meat values remained steady in July, while vegetable oil prices fell.

Photo Credit: © UNICEF/UN053753/Prinsloo

Food crisis and famines continue to plague many developing countries. Armed conflict and prolonged drought have left around 20 million people at a risk of starvation and death in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and Nigeria, while several other African nations also currently face with food insecurity, largely as a result of climate-driven weather events.

Photo Credit: BBC World Service

The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released on July 10, 2017. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments over the past month at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries, and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.

According to the June WADSE Report, global wheat supplies for 2017-2018 are up 2.8 million tons. These projections are greatly influenced by a higher production forecast for Russia, which is projected to be 69.0 million tons. Wheat production in India is forecast to be lower by 1 million tons, but remains 9 million tons higher than 2016-2017 production. Similarly, EU wheat production forecasts declined slightly this month but remains 4 percent higher than the previous year’s levels.

Photo Credit: Vinay Kumar/IFPRI

The latest FAO Food Price Index and AMIS Market Monitor were released earlier this month. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of five food commodity groups; the monthly AMIS Market Monitor covers the international markets for wheat, rice, maize, and soy and provides an overview of the market situation and outlook for each of these crops.

Leaders of the G20 countries met in Hamburg, Germany on July 7-8 for the 2017 G20 Summit Meeting. The meeting covered a multitude of critical topics, including climate change, international trade relations, globalization, poverty and hunger, gender inequity, and inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Photo Credit: AMIS

The Global Food Market Information Group of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) met in Rome on June 22-23 to discuss the current commodity market outlook for grains and oilseeds. This marked the eleventh meeting since the group was launched in 2011 at the G20 Agricultural Ministerial following the food price spikes in 2007-2008 and 2010.

Global Food Security Alert, June 21, 2017

According to the latest Global Food Security Alert released by FEWS Net, nearly $2.2 billion has been spent on emergency food assistance globally since January; despite this spending, however, 81 million people remain in need of help. Famine in Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, and South Sudan could lead to large-scale loss of life, and additional contributions to emergency appeals are urgently needed in these areas.

Photo Credit: Milo Mitchell / IFPRI

A recent literature review, prepared for USAID, clearly reveals that investments in agricultural research have made large contributions to poverty reduction, nutrition improvement, and resilience through the systemic transformation of local agriculture and food systems. The authors reviewed dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and books published after 2000, with an emphasis on those published since 2010.

Here are a few of the central findings:

By Eugenio Díaz-Bonilla, Senior Research Fellow and Head of IFPRI's Latin America and Caribbean Program