Photo Credit: Paul Ancheta

While progress has been made in reducing global poverty over the last two decades, about one billion people still live in poverty, according to the latest World Bank estimate. In addition, according to FAO, over 800 million people suffer from hunger, while more than two billion people suffer from macronutrient deficiencies, or “hidden hunger”. IFPRI’s 2016 Global Hunger Index reports that 50 countries continue to have “serious” or “alarming” hunger levels, with the most affected areas in Africa south of the Sahara and South Asia.

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.

Research shows that the global growth of information and telecommunication technologies (ICTs) has resulted in significant development opportunities, especially in rural areas. ICTs can improve households’ agricultural production and profitability, increase job opportunities, and encourage the adoption of healthier practices and more effective risk management techniques.

Photo Credit: AMIS Market Monitor

The latest editions of the FAO Food Price Index and AMIS Market Monitor were both released on November 10. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of five food commodity groups; the monthly AMIS Market Monitor covers the international markets for wheat, rice, maize, and soy and provides an overview of the market situation and outlook for each of these crops.

In many developing countries, women make up 50 percent or more of the agricultural labor force; however, women also often face an array of socio-economic conditions that place them at a disadvantage compared to men in local and international food systems.

Farmers’ ability to access reliable and inclusive systems of finance is critical for agricultural growth and economic development. Proper financing enables farmers to make long-term productive investments and to overcome short-term crises.

The 2015 Global Hunger Index reports that despite progress in reducing hunger worldwide, hunger levels in 52 of 117 countries remain “serious” or “alarming.” The FAO’s 2015 State of Food Insecurity report estimates that 795 million people are undernourished, with uneven levels of undernourishment across countries. Simultaneously, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.9 billion adults are overweight.

The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released on July 11. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Uwe Potthoff

The FAO Food Price Index rose again in June for the fifth consecutive month, based largely on surging sugar prices and more moderate increases for cereals, dairy, and meat. The 6.6 point increase represents the largest monthly movement in the last four years.

The Cereals Index rose 4.4 points from May, but remains 3.9 percent below June 2015 levels. Strengthened maize prices drove most of this month's increases, as tightening export supplies in Brazil caused prices to rise.

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