The latest edition of the AMIS market monitor, released on September 8, shows that the international price of wheat, maize, rice, and soybean has decreased since July. This decline has been driven by improved global crop prospects and plentiful export availabilities.

Farmers’ ability to access reliable and inclusive systems of finance is critical for agricultural growth and economic development. Proper financing enables farmers to make long-term productive investments and to overcome short-term crises.

The August FAO Food Price Index increased by 3 points (1.9 percent) from July to 165.6 points reaching a 15 month high. This increase was predominantly driven by price increases in dairy, oils and sugar, though all commodities covered except for cereals experienced an increase.

The monsoon season in Southeast Asia extends from May through September. According to a special report from the FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), this year's monsoon season has seen above-average rains, along with a series of typhoons and tropical storms from June through early August.

The USDA’s monthly report on World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) was released on August 12.

Ownership and control of assets have become increasingly recognized for their role in reducing poverty and improving individuals’ and households’ long-term well-being. In addition, research has shown that women’s ownership and control of assets can have important development outcomes both for women themselves and for their families.

The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released on August 10th. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments 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.

The July FAO Food Price Index fell by 1.3 points following five consecutive months of increases. The slightly drop in July was driven mostly by lower international quotations of grains and vegetable oils.

The FAO estimates that malnutrition costs the global economy up to US$3.5 trillion or US$500 per person annually. To address this waste of economic potential, countries need to find ways to promote productive, sustainable food systems that support diverse, nutritious, and safe foods for all their citizens.

The indicators of development in the world have consistently improved over the past 25 years; globally, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has decreased from 37.1 percent in 1990 to 12.7 percent in 2012. Despite this, multiple indicators remain alarmingly high, for instance, the percentage of child malnutrition/stunting currently stands at 23.8 percent.