Since 2009, the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) has driven the European Union's policies on biofuels. The RED's current mandate states that 10% of the EU’s transportation fuel must come from renewable sources by 2020; it also mandates that only 5.6% of this can come from first-generation biofuels (i.e., biofuels produced from food crops such as maize).
Over the past four months, weather patterns and conflict have played a key role in the food security situation in several regions, according to the latest issue of the WFP's Global Food Security Update. While good rains in the Sahel have led to a predicted short-term improvement in the region's food security, drought and flooding in several other areas of the world have produced shocks that are likely to drive more people into hunger.
Agricultural activities employ 77 percent of Senegal's workforce and account for 12.4 of its GDP. Despite the importance of agriculture to Senegal's development, however, the country is often subject to low rainfall and droughts, making its population particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. A new report from FEWS NET examines climatic trends in Senegal and finds several important implications for the country's agricultural production.
When it comes to improving global food security and ending hunger, increasing access to reliable, up-to-date information and research is an important first step. National and international policymakers rely on credible data, statistics, and analysis to enact appropriate policies and respond to local, regional, and global food crises. In many developing countries, however, such information is often difficult to access; even when data is available, it may not be communicated to policymakers in an accessible, easy-to-understand way.
The latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report was released today. This month's report cites lower world supplies for wheat and maize; global rice supplies, on the other hand, are up to a record 465.1 million tons.
On October 11, IFPRI will release the seventh edition of its annual Global Hunger Index (GHI). This year's GHI, titled The Challenge of Hunger: Ensuring Sustainable Food Security Under Land, Water, and Energy Stresses, addresses the issue of sustainable resource use and its importance to feeding a hungry world.
The GIEWS Global Food Price Monitor, released today, has seen a slight decline in international maize prices from their near-record highs in August. However, the report also cites increasing global rice export prices, as well as strengthening wheat export prices. Domestic wheat prices in several regions (Asia, CIS, and South America) also rose in September, reflecting higher prices in international and regional export markets.
FAO released the latest Food Price Index today. The report cites slightly higher food prices in September, averaging 216 points. The increase was based mostly on the meat and dairy sectors, with smaller increases in grains. The Index is currently 22 points below its peak of 238 points in February 2011, and nine points below its level of 225 points in September 2011.