Photo Credit: Katrin Park/IFPRI

The FAO Food Price Index fell nearly five points in March, driven by drops in the indices for all commodities except meat. The March Index remained 20 points above its year-earlier level, however.

The Cereal Price Index fell 2.7 points in March and was essentially the same as its March 2016 level. Global cereal supplies remain plentiful, and overall production prospects are favorable for the coming season.

In 2016, for the first time in modern history, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell below 10 percent and the global rate of undernutrition was expected to fall below 11 percent, according to IFPRI’s newly released 2017 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR).

According to the latest Foresight Report from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPAN), three billion people around the world consume low-quality diets, and this nutrition crisis will likely only get worse in the coming decades. Population growth and climate change will place increasing stress on food systems, particularly in Africa and Asia. At the same time, rapidly increasing urbanization, particularly in these two regions, will affect hunger and nutrition in complex ways.

Photo Credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT

The March edition of The Early Warning Crop Monitor was recently released, bringing together the monitoring efforts of international, regional, and national organizations on crop conditions within countries at risk of food insecurity. The subregions covered in the monitor are: East Africa and Yemen, West Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Central America and the Caribbean.

Since the 2007-2008 food price crisis, food price volatility has been front and center in the international development conversation. The period of the crisis saw a dramatic rise in the international price of grains and other important commodities, while the years immediately following the crisis saw increasing grain price fluctuations on the international market.

Global trade is a complex, politically charged issue that has important implications for the global food system.

Photo Credit: BBC World Service

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released last week, citing slightly higher food prices from January. The February Index rose by 0.9 points from the previous month. While this is a very slight increase, the Index is 17.2 percent higher than its February 2016 levels. It has now reached the highest level seen since February 2015.

FAO estimates that around the world, about 795 million people still suffer from hunger and more than two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies or forms of over-nourishment. Simultaneously, historical and future achievements in food security are under threat due to climate change and increasing pressures on natural resources.

Photo Credit: HarvestPlus

Micronutrient deficiencies afflict more than two billion individuals worldwide. These deficiencies occur when the intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals are too low to sustain good health and development.

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