Agricultural trade plays an important role in the establishment of a fair, well-functioning global economy. At the same time, agricultural trade can also have a detrimental effect on global price stability and food security if policies are enacted that protect one region at the expense of another. Protectionist policies such as export bans or restrictions can actually increase global price volatility and lead to further food insecurity, particularly for developing nations.

Since the 2007-08 food crisis, efforts to limit and regulate such policies have received more attention, with policymakers being urged to avoid knee-jerk reactions such as export bans or panic purchases. Mitigating the negative effects of the current rise in food prices will depend largely on whether global policymakers again give in to ad hoc protectionism.

Watch IFPRI Research Fellow David Laborde discuss important recommendations for stabilizing both world and domestic prices through appropriate export policies.

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