Photo credit: flickr (Lee Canon)

In addition to continued coverage of bumper harvests and low prices in grain markets, the October edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains included the increasing impacts of adverse weather on current harvests and 2016 forecasts.

Girl in in Zorro village, Burkina Faso. Photo credit: flickr (CIFOR)

The World Bank released some good news this month regarding extreme global poverty. In the report “Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity: Progress and Policies,” the Bank predicts that by the end of 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide will drop from 902 million (the 2012 level) to 702 million, or 9.6 percent of the global population.

Children enjoying the sweet taste of orange sweet potato. Photo credit: flickr (HarvestPlus)

Famine used to be the focus of efforts to combat hunger, but changes in policy, technology and aid have brought the developing world to the point where “calamitous famines” (with a death toll of one million or more) and even “great famines” (100,000 or more) are much more rare.

Photo Credit: flickr (World Bank)

The Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) organized a special event "Food Market Outlook - An AMIS Perspective for 2015/16" at Expo Milan on Monday, 19 October 2015. Leading experts from AMIS-participating countries presented the outlook for wheat, maize, rice and soybean markets and addressed questions from a live and virtual audience on topics including:

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Centers for Environmental Information has predicted a 95 percent chance that the current El Niño cycle will continue through the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, only beginning to gradually weaken in spring 2016. According to NOAA, this El Niño is shaping up to be the strongest one on record since experts began tracking the phenomenon in 1950.

Children displaced by conflict, DRC. Photo Credit: Flickr (UN Photo/Marie Frechon)

Among the billions of people on the planet, one in nine are chronically undernourished, according to the 2015 Global Hunger Index (GHI) released this week by the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide. The 10th annual edition of the report also finds that one in four children are affected by malnutrition-related stunting (low height for age) and nine percent of children are affected by wasting (low weight for height).

“Wheat” is the prevailing theme in the September report from the FAO, with eight out of ten news items focusing on policy developments and forecasts related to the commodity.

Among children under the age of five around the world, 161 million are stunted, 51 million are wasted, and 42 million are obese, according to the 2015 Global Nutrition Report released today by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. The report illustrates that malnutrition takes many forms and affects every country on earth.

Community meal in rural Mexico. Photo Credit: Flickr (Bread for the World)

BY: Joseph Glauber, IFPRI

The Food and Agricultural Organization reports that food prices for August fell 5.2 percent from July levels and down 21.5 percent from last August. The FAO Food Price Index is at the lowest level since April 2009 and down 35 percent from its recent peak in February 2011. Compared to a year ago, prices for cereals, meats, and vegetable oils are down between 15 and 20 percent, while prices for sugar and dairy products are down by about a third.

Dropping oil prices, concern over the global financial implications of economic slowdown in China, and higher than expected global yields for wheat, maize and rice are all contributing to the continued descent of crop prices, according to the September edition of the AMIS Market Monitor and the FAO Food Price Index, both released today.