FEWS NET has released its Food Price Watch for June, citing steadily increasing staple food prices in East Africa. Rising prices in the region are being caused by a combination of dwindling supplies from previous harvests and market interruptions due to conflict; many areas of the region were already seeing alarmingly high food prices.

The 2011 Horn of Africa food crisis brought the stark reality of weather-related shocks to the world’s attention, as the region’s worst drought in 60 years led to widespread crop failures and skyrocketing food prices and plunged millions of people into severe hunger and malnutrition. An early, effective response could have prevented the kind of widespread tragedy seen in the Horn of Africa in 2011, reducing mortality rates and malnutrition of young children, as well as helping families get back on their feet after the drought.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 204 points in May, representing a 4 percent drop from April prices and the biggest percentage decrease since March 2010. At this level, the Food Price Index is 14 percent below its peak in February 2011.

FEWS NET has released the latest Monthly Price Watch for May 2012. The report cites slight fluctuations in the international grains markets, with wheat increasing in many markets and maize export prices continuing to decrease. In both East and West Africa, staple food prices (particularly cereals prices) increased in April. These increases were due to diminishing stocks from previous harvests (East Africa) and a rapid increase in demand that is still unmatched by supply (West Africa, particularly the Sahel).

To revisit some of the most pressing issues to have emerged from the 2011 Policy Dialogue on the Importance of Statistical Information Systems in Improving Food Security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the National Institute for Agronomic Study and Research (INERA) are announcing a joint Call for Papers (CFP). IFPRI and INERA call for the development of two papers.

PAPER TOPICS
The two paper topics highlight main discussion points from the Policy Dialogue:

2011 Policy Dialogue on Food Security Information Systems in Uganda

To revisit some of the most pressing issues to have emerged from the 2011 Policy Dialogue on Food Security Information Systems in Uganda, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Economic and Policy Research Centre (EPRC) are announcing a joint Call for Papers (CFP). IFPRI and EPRC call for the development of two papers.

PAPER TOPICS
The two paper topics highlight main discussion points from the Policy Dialogue:

The FAO Global Food Price Index averaged 214 points in April, down 3 points from the previous month. Cereals prices aided this decline with a drop of nearly 2 percent from March and 16 percent from April 2011. Maize prices declined on solid production prospects, while wheat and rice prices also fell marginally. Soybean prices, on the other hand, surged on fears of tightening global supplies.

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FEWS NET has released its April Food Price Watch, citing stable prices throughout much of Africa and Central America. The Sahel region saw relatively stable cereals prices due to food assistance interventions and successful transport from surplus areas. In East Africa, staple prices remained generally stable, though high; some areas in this region saw seasonal increases.

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Read the Annex.

The new report cites an important pattern of declining rainfall, particularly in the heavily populated areas of the Rift Valley. Extended drier weather could increase the number of Ethiopians at risk for food insecurity in the next two decades if agricultural development is not increased in other areas of the country.

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The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has released its monthly crops outlook. The reports track US and international production, stocks, and trade data for major commodities and agricultural goods. The April reports cite an anticipated reduction in US soybean acreage due to a surge in corn planting; Brazil and Argentina also saw reductions in their estimated soybean production due to drought. These reductions could bring global soybean export levels down by 4 percent.

Download the full soybean report.

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