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Unsafe food poses a significant threat to human health and well-being and can hamper agricultural transformation, market integration, and economic development. Populations in low- and middle-income countries are often hardest hit by the effects of unsafe food, with countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara accounting for 53 percent of all foodborne illnesses and 75 percent of related deaths.

As the world strives to feed a growing population in the face of declining natural resources and ongoing food security crises, commitment from policymakers to a sustainable food future is more important than ever. Argentina’s G20 Presidency has set sustainability and food security as a top priority for this year’s upcoming Ministerial Meeting, and these priorities were also focus of the recent T20 (Think 20) Summit, held in Buenos Aires in September 2018.

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The FAO Food Price Index declined somewhat in September, falling 1.4 percent from August to an average of 165.4 points. This represents a 7.4 percent decline from September 2017 levels.

After many years of rapid growth, serious trade tensions have emerged between the United States and China. Since open trade is key to avoiding significant economic and environmental costs and help ensuring food security and nutrition, the ongoing trade conflicts have the potential for disastrous outcomes, as China and the US are key players in global agricultural trade.

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The FAO Food Price Index remained virtually unchanged in August, although cereal prices rose as a result of declining crop prospects. At 167.6 points, the Index is around 9 percent lower than its August 2017 levels.

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Both hard wheat and soft wheat prices are experiencing a period of excessive volatility, according to the Food Security Portal’s Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System. Hard wheat futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade began experiencing excessive volatility earlier in August, while soft wheat prices began to see excessive movement toward the end of the month.

This piece originally appeared on the IFPRI.org blog
BY VALERIA PIÑEIRO AND SARA GUSTAFSON

The countries that make up the G20 account for around 60 percent of the world's agricultural land, some 80 percent of global agricultural trade, and about two-thirds of global population. As such, these countries have an important role to play in global food and nutrition security, as well as sustainable agricultural production.

Hard wheat prices continued to experience excessive volatility this week, according to the Food Security Portal’s Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System.

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The FAO Food Price Index fell sharply in July, the largest such decline since December 2017. The Index dropped by around 3.7 percent month-to-month from June, as well as 3.7 percent from its July 2017 levels. The decline is driven by reductions across all sub-indices.

The Cereal Price Index fell 3.6 percent from June and 0.8 percent from July 2017. The price of wheat, maize, and rice declined in June, although maize and wheat prices crept back up toward the end of the month due to concerns over production prospects.

Photo Credit: Jamed Falik/IFPRI

The world will continue to face major challenges from political and economic uncertainty, conflict, and climate change in 2018 and beyond, and the rising trend of anti-globalization in some developed countries could hamper the ability of policymakers to respond to these challenges. The result could be slowed progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition security, especially in developing countries.

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