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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.

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Global wheat export prices fell in February as a result of slowing trade activity, ample supplies, and generally good growing conditions throughout the Northern Hemisphere, according to this month's FAO Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin. These prices reflect a decline of almost 20 percent from February 2015.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Waywuwei

Global wheat export prices fell in February as a result of slowing trade activity, ample supplies, and generally good growing conditions throughout the Northern Hemisphere, according to this month's FAO Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin. These prices reflect a decline of almost 20 percent from February 2015.

FAO's first Crop Prospects and Food Situation report of 2016 estimates that while global stocks remain at adequate levels, a total of 34 countries are in need of external food assistance due to a combination of civil conflict and El Niño-linked weather conditions. Twenty-seven of those countries are in Africa, where adverse weather resulted in significantly lower 2015 cereal harvests.

According to the February FAO Food Price Index released last week, food prices were steady in February but were 14.5 percent lower than in February 2015. The Cereal Price Index fell by 13.7 percent from a year before, led by a 1.5 percent decline in wheat prices due to slower trade activity and the expectation of large exports throughout the rest of the marketing season. Maize prices also fell in February, while rice prices rose slightly.

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Improved seed varieties that are more resistant to heat, drought, and pests and disease can help farmers increase their crop yields and adapt to the effects of climate change. However, smallholder farmers often do not use improved seeds, because of prohibitively high costs, a lack of access to seed dealers, or a lack of information about the benefits of improved varieties.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Ilari

Trade was the major theme in January's Monthly News Report on Grains, released earlier this week. Changes in several countries' export and import policies and volumes were reported.

Photo credit: IFPRI/David Popham

This post was originally posted on the IFPRI.org blog. By: Sara Gustafson, IFPRI