In December, the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference will open in Bali, Indonesia. Agriculture, and the links between trade and poverty alleviation, food security, and environmental sustainability, will appear again as key issues in the negotiations. The new Road to Bali blog series will provide analysis and dialogue about the critical issues being discussed in the official negotiations, civil society, and research circles, with a particular focus on the negotiations' potential implications for developing countries.
In early October, the WTO held its Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The Public Forum is an annual event providing a platform for public debate about a wide range of global topics and issues being discussed by the WTO.
The October issue 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 record Indian wheat export levels, progress on WTO food stockholding negotiations, and an anticipated record corn harvest in the Philippines.
The latest FEWS Net Monthly Price Watch was released yesterday. The report sees declines in the majority of international prices, with the exception of soybeans.
Mortality rates for children under age five have declined in Africa south of the Sahara since 2000, thanks to a better prevention of malaria, a greater share of births in medical centers, improved antenatal care, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and increasing levels of income. However, a recent released report shows that the hunger level in Africa remains at an “alarming” level in Africa.
October 16 is World Food Day.
This blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org
By Ashley St. Thomas
About one in eight people worldwide suffered from chronic hunger during the past two years, according to the United Nations. Though daunting, that ratio is an improvement over previous years. In fact, the 2013 Global Hunger Index report released Monday shows that global hunger levels have declined by nearly 35 percent since 1990.
FAO recently released its 2013 State of Food Security in the World report. This annual report looks at the number and location of people suffering from chronic hunger around the globe, and provides analysis of how different policies can be used to target different regions and populations.
Global trade policies have the potential to significantly impact food security, for better or for worse. With the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference upcoming in Bali in December, some developing country leaders are pressing negotiators to keep this connection in mind and fast-track talks on proposed changes that would give developing countries greater flexibility in following the new WTO agricultural trade rules.
The latest FAO Food Price Index, released Thursday, continued to fall in September, down 2.3 points below August and a full 11 points from the beginning of the year. This marks the fifth consecutive decrease.
The Cereals Price Index dropped 12.9 points from August and as much as 65 points from September 2012. The decline reflects a favorable supply outlook, particularly for maize and rice. The Oils/Fats Price Index remained unchanged from August. The Dairy, Meat, and Sugar Indices all rose slightly in September.