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The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2020

Agricultural markets and sustainable development: Global value chains, smallholder farmers and digital innovations

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Last updated date 04/03/2021, see corrigendum

 FAO. 2020. The State of Agricultural CommodityMarkets 2020. Agricultural markets and sustainable development: Global valuechains, smallholder farmers and digital innovations. Rome, FAO.

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    Book (series)
    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2022
    The geography of food and agricultural trade: Policy approaches for sustainable development
    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2022 (SOCO 2022) discusses how trade policies, based on both multilateral and regional approaches, can address today’s challenges for sustainable development. Trade policies in food and agriculture should aim to safeguard global food security, address the trade-offs between economic and environmental objectives, and strengthen the resilience of the global agrifood system to shocks, such as conflicts, pandemics and extreme weather. The report discusses the geography of trade, analysing food and agricultural trade and its patterns across countries and regions, its drivers and the trade policy environment. Comparative advantage, trade policies and trade costs shape the patterns of trade in food and agriculture. When comparative advantage plays out in the global market, trade benefits all countries. Lowering tariff barriers and reducing trade costs can promote trade and economic growth. Both multilateral and regional trade agreements can facilitate the process of making trade an avenue for growth but the gains of trade are distributed unevenly. When global environmental impacts, such as climate change, are considered, a multilateral approach to trade can help expand the reach of mitigation measures.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2018
    Agricultural trade, climate change and food security
    Global agricultural trade has increased significantly in value terms since 2000. Its pattern has also changed – emerging economies and developing countries play a bigger role in international markets, and South–South agricultural trade has expanded significantly. Climate change is expected to affect agriculture, food security and nutrition unevenly across countries and regions. Changes in comparative advantage in agriculture around the world will also affect international trade. This edition of The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets focuses on the complex and underexplored intersection between agricultural trade, climate change and food security. The report makes an important contribution to the policy debates on climate change adaptation and mitigation under the Paris Agreement and the multilateral agricultural trade rules. The report discusses policies – both domestic support and trade measures – that can promote food security, adaptation and mitigation, and improve the livelihoods of family farmers around the world. Given both the slow- and rapid-onset impacts of climate change, policies that can significantly promote climate change adaptation and mitigation would benefit from deeper discussions in international fora on how to strengthen the mutually supportive role of trade rules and climate interventions.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2009
    High food prices and the food crisis – experiences and lessons learned
    In the first half of 2008, the world was facing the highest food price levels in 30 years and a global food insecurity crisis. Although international food prices have since fallen, they are still above the levels seen in recent years and are expected to remain so. FAO estimates that soaring food prices pushed another 115 million people into chronic hunger in 2007 and 2008, bringing the world total to nearly one billion hungry people. This report explains why food prices increased and the steps needed to ensure that high food prices become an opportunity for developing country farmers to help safeguard world food supplies at affordable prices. It focuses on the extent to which “new” explanations – biofuel demand, record oil prices and increasing food demand in China and India – can account for the sudden food price inflation as well as the role of traditional market drivers. It also explores why so few producers in developing countries responded by investing more and increasing production. Soaring food prices and the consequent food crisis are matters of international concern that require concerted action – there is an urgent need to strengthen the governance of world food security. The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2009 aims to bring to a wider public an accessible discussion of agricultural commodity market issues and policy matters. It seeks to provide an objective and straightforward treatment of economic issues for all those interested in agricultural commodity market developments and their impact on developing countries.

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