Food price volatility and extreme price shocks have serious implications for politics, agriculture, climate, and food and nutrition security, according to a new book published by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Photo Credit: Flickr: John Donaghy

The current El Niño cycle is being called the one of the strongest on record, and it is already having serious impacts on local food production in many developing countries around the world. Production shortfalls, and subsequent food price hikes, will be particularly harmful for the world’s poorest consumers, who research shows spend 50-70 percent of their incomes on food.

Agriculture, food prices, and food and nutrition security have long played an important role in the G7 and G20 meetings. The following links provide a timeline of some of the most important agriculture- and food-related decisions to come out of these meetings since 2011.

G7 Leaders's Declaration on Food Security

Paris G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture

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The global food system puts significant pressure on the world’s natural resources and is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, a large amount of the food produced by this system is either lost or wasted each year, lowering overall productivity and hurting both producers and consumers. According to a recent blog by IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan, as much as one billion tons of food never reaches consumers.

The latest Global Weather Hazards Summary from FEWS Net is reporting dry conditions throughout parts of Africa and Central America.

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released this week, rising slightly from February but well below levels in March 2015. Sugar prices and vegetable oil prices rose sharply in March, but this change was offset by declines in dairy prices.

Last year witnessed the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the launch of a new global development agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Photo Credit: Flickr: Fintrac, Inc.

A country’s food security conditions clearly have implications for the types of policies its leaders will try to enact and for the way that country interacts with international organizations and governing bodies. Much effort has been made to classify countries according to their food and nutrition security status in order to better guide policymaking, but determining such classifications is complicated.

March 22 is World Water Day, which focuses this year on the link between water and jobs. As the latest IFPRI blog points out, this link is particularly important for women in rural areas. The majority of women in developing countries engage in agricultural work, whether that is production of food for sale in the market or more production of food for their own households in kitchen gardens.

FEWS Net has released its latest Global Weather Hazards Summary for March 11-17, 2016. The report covers ongoing and recent weather conditions throughout the world; this latest report covers Africa, Central Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.