Pipes being laid for a water project in Lesotho. Photo Credit: Flickr (John Hogg/World Bank)

Official Development Assistance, or ODA, provides a fundamental source of financing in the poorest and most fragile countries. Current ODA is estimated at $135 billion USD a year, but investment needs in infrastructure alone reach up to $1.5 trillion a year in emerging and developing countries according to the World Bank Group.

Photo Credit: Flickr (Robert Thomson 2008)

BY: Rachel Kohn

The April edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains was released today, with multiple articles addressing China's grain management system and coverage of record cereal and wheat harvests for Morocco and India, respectively. The report also covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies.

Photo Credit: G. Smith / CIAT (Flickr)

By combining climate and yield projections with the IIASA Global Biosphere Management Model, researchers say they have identified the likely needed adaptations and transformations for global agricultural systems.

In developed countries, talk of food safety regulations centers on public health – how to prevent outbreaks of food-borne illness and ensure high quality, nutritious food. For developing countries, though, increasing food safety regulations in food-importing countries can have significant economic implications as well. On the one hand, complying with higher food safety standards can be prohibitively costly, making it difficult for small farmers to access lucrative, high-value markets.

The June edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains was released today. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's edition covers global grain stocks at a 15 year high, the potential impact of changing weather patterns on wheat production, and Brazil's proposed tariff-free wheat import quota.

The FAO Food Price Index for May was released yesterday and is down 2.5 points from April, and nearly 7 points from May 2013. This is the second decline in a row, following the ten-month high reached in March. The decline is driven mostly by lower dairy, cereals, and vegetable oils prices.

The May edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains was released last week. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's edition covers above-average US wheat sales, increased wheat production expectations in India, and the impact that El Nino could have on crops.

So-called "food riots" have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, but what role do food and food prices actually play in violent demonstrations and conflicts? The May issue of the World Bank Food Price Watch finds that the relationship between food and violence takes several forms, involving not only food prices but also food supplies and competition over agricultural and infrastructure resources.

Food prices spiked in March, according to the latest FAO Food Price Index, released this week. The Index rose 4.8 points from February and is at its highest level since May 2013. The increase is due largely to poor weather and continuing unrest in the Black Sea region. Cereal and sugar prices gained the most this month.

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