By Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla, visiting Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI and member of the group on agricultural issues of the E-15 Initiative launched by ICTSD
Input subsidy programs—a mainstay of 1960s and 1970s international donor agendas—have regained favor in Africa south of the Sahara in recent years. Although 10 African countries spent more than $1 billion on these programs in 2011 alone, little information exists on the impacts the programs are having on households and communities.
Today kicks off the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference, taking place in Bali from December 3-6. As a sideline event, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) will host the Bali Trade & Development Symposium. The event will provide an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders, from policymakers to businesses to NGOs, to discuss key challenges facing the global trade system and the sustainable development agenda.
Since 1998, the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), coordinated by the Center for Global Trade Analysis at Purdue University, has organized an annual conference to promote the exchange of ideas among economists conducting quantitative analysis of global economic issues. In June 2014, the 17th Annual Conference will be co-organized by AGRODEP and held in Dakar, Senegal.
Global food prices have declined by 6 percent over the last quarter, according to the latest World Bank Food Price Watch. However, the report warns that prices are still not that far from their historical peak, at only 16 percent below the all-time high reached in August 2012.
Global food prices are becoming less volatile compared to recent years, according to a new FAO report. The November 2013 Food Outlook credits the more balanced markets to the recovery of global cereal inventories. 2013 has seen a significant increase in cereal production, largely based on increased maize crops in the US and record wheat crops in CIS countries.
Highlights for other crops include: