Achieving efficient and effective fertilizer usage in agricultural production is a critically important economic and environmental policy objective for countries at all stages of economic development, although the nature of the policy problem may vary radically in different contexts.
The BIMSTEC - Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation – country group consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand. Together, these countries are home to more than 712 food-insecure people, and the prevalence of food insecurity has increased in the majority of the region since 2014. Given this food security situation, India’s recent export ban of non-basmati white rice and export duty on parboiled rice raise significant concerns for the region.
With one in six people around the world almost entirely dependent on international trade to meet their food needs, agricultural trade can clearly play a pivotal role in both addressing and exacerbating food security challenges. While progress has been made to bring attention to food security needs in trade negotiations in recent years, harmful policies like temporary food export restrictions are still a common reaction to price spikes, market disruptions, and production shortfalls – shocks that are likely to become increasingly frequent due to climate change and ongoing conflicts.
In 2019, an estimated 690 million people around the world were undernourished, and nearly 3 billion people were unable to afford healthy diets. The world has the potential to make significant progress in reducing those numbers by 2030 – with the right investments.
With the Russia-Ukraine conflict disrupting global supply chains, roiling markets and raising food and fuel prices, some governments have responded with restrictions on agricultural exports. While these policies may be domestically appealing, however, they have wider ramifications for global food prices and food security, according to the May AMIS Market Monitor. The report emphasizes that restrictive trade measures like export restrictions will further limit available food stocks, raise food and fuel prices even higher, and push poor populations into more acute food security.