In the sharpest rise seen since mid-2012, the FAO Food Price Index increased by 5.2 points, or 2.6 percent, in February. The rebound was driven by rising prices across all sectors of the Index, with the exception of meat. Despite this rise, however, the February Index remained 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.

The February edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains was released yesterday. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's report includes articles on the new US Farm Bill, the potential impact of the crisis in the Ukraine on grain harvests in the region, falling Indian wheat exports, and China's increasing imports of corn and soybeans.

This article was originally posted as part of Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

The EU’s trade-distorting domestic farm subsidies were lower in the 2010-11 marketing year than in any previous year, according to new figures that the 28-member bloc has reported to the WTO.

This article was originally posted as part of Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

With the Bali ministerial now behind them, the process to develop a Doha “work programme” by year’s end is beginning to gear up in Geneva, with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo urging members last week to use 2014 to get the struggling negotiations “back on track.”

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released on January 9, citing a slight drop from December. At 203.4 points, the Index was 4.4 percent lower than its January 2013 level.

The Cereal Price Index also dropped by 3 points in January, down a full 56 points from its January 2013 level. This decline can be attributed largely to bumper cereal crops and subsequent large export supplies, which helped reduce prices from the highs seen in 2012 and 2013.

More Protection Against Low Prices, While Fixed Payments Ended
Decade-Long Shift to Subsidized Crop Insurance Reinforced

By David Orden, IFPRI

After more than three years of oft-times tumultuous positioning, posturing, and negotiations, the U.S. Congress has passed a new five-year Farm Bill: the Agricultural Act of 2014. The bill, which the President will sign into law on February 7, reaffirms the government’s longstanding support to farmers through 2018.

The latest FEWS Net Monthly Price Watch was released this week, citing stable international maize, rice, and wheat prices in December. Maize prices were over 30 percent lower than their December 2012 levels; global maize stocks are expected to hit their highest levels in over a decade due to near-harvest records in the United States, high stocks in South America, and decreasing overall use estimates.

This article is cross-posted from ChinaDaily, written by Shenggen Fan, the Director General of International Food Policy Research Institute.

Use, control, and ownership of productive assets – land, money, livestock, and education, to name just a few – are essential stepping stones on the path out of poverty. But this pathway can look very different depending on whether you are a man or a woman. Growing evidence suggests that women typically have fewer assets than men, and that they use those assets differently. What’s more, agricultural development programs may impact men’s and women’s assets in different, sometimes unexpected, ways.

The latest FAO Food Price Index, released this week, remained largely unchanged from last month's at 206.7 points. Overall, the Index was slightly lower in 2013 than in 2012; food prices declined 1.6 percent in the past year. However, 2013 levels were still the third highest annual value on record.