As global food prices continue to surge, individuals and families in the developing world may be facing a new food reality. Fluctuations in the price of staple commodities may benefit some households’ welfare (producers) while hurting others (consumers). Understanding how price increases affect the developing world on a household level can pose a major challenge to global policymakers as they strive to respond to global and national food crises. It is essential that policymakers and researchers have access to the latest food security research and policy tools in order to strengthen national and global capacity to respond effectively to food policy challenges.
The Food Security Portal, facilitated by IFPRI, has launched a beta version of a new tool designed to provide accessible, easy-to-use analysis of the impact of increased food prices on households’ welfare in the developing world. The Medium-Term Welfare Effects of Higher Food Prices tool takes into account varying data, such as share of a household’s income from selling a commodity and share of income spent on a commodity, to measure changes in welfare as a percentage. Such information can give policymakers and analysts a realistic picture of the impact of rising prices on their country’s most vulnerable populations.