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Fourth Ministerial Meeting on Commodity Markets and Prices

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    Book (series)
    International grain reserves and other instruments to address volatility in grain markets
    Working paper presented at the World Grain Forum 2009 St. Petersburg/Russian Federation, 6-7 June 2009
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    The dramatic rise in global food prices in 2007/08 was widely viewed as a threat to global food and nutrition security that endangered millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. It has also brought political instability to some countries and the prospect of unrest to many more. The rapid increase in world food prices was caused by a combination of cumulative effects of long-term trends, more recent supply and demand dynamics, and (governmental) responses that have exacerbated price volatility. This crisis has exposed existing and potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities of households, governments, and the international system to food and nutrition insecurity. The international community has responded with a range of initiatives and established instruments to assist the neediest nations. Major stakeholders worldwide continue to discuss potential instruments to address the recent food crisis and to prevent or reduce the impact of future crises. Besides a gricultural productivity improvement and national food self-sufficiency targets, physical grain stocks (“humanitarian food reserves”) have resurfaced in these discussions. And more recently, the idea of “a ‘virtual’ internationally coordinated reserve system for humanitarian purposes”—first mentioned in the G8 Leaders’ Statement on Global Food Security at the Hokkaido Toyako Summit on July 8, 2008—was added to the debate. In conjunction with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian Federation will host, on June 6 and 7, 2009, the World Grain Forum 2009. During the Forum, which intends to shape a common vision of issues facing global food (grain) security and to inform future G8/G20 meetings, high-level discussions are expected to cover—inter alia—global grain production and marketing, food aid programs, new challenges of world trade in grain, and mechanisms for the stabilization of grain markets including an international grain reserve.In vie w of the controversies surrounding the topic of grain stocks and other instruments to reduce price volatility in (food) commodity markets, and at the request of the Organizing Committee of the World Grain Forum 2009, The World Bank (WB), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (the three sponsoring organizations) have commissioned the present working paper on international grain reserves and oth er instruments to address volatility in grain markets. The purpose of this paper is to inform international debates on the occasion of the World Grain Forum 2009 on issues and options related to price volatility in (food) commodity markets with special reference to international grain reserves.
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    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2015–16 (SOCO)
    Trade and food security: achieving a better balance between national priorities and the collective good
    Global trade in agricultural and food products has grown rapidly in recent decades, with countries becoming more engaged in this trade, whether as exporters or importers. This trend is expected to continue over the coming decades. As a consequence, trade will play an increasingly important role in influencing the extent and nature of food security across all regions of the globe. The challenge has therefore become one of ensuring that the expansion of agricultural trade works for, and not agains t, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. This edition of The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets aims to reduce the current polarization of views on the impacts of agricultural trade on food security and on the manner in which agricultural trade should be governed to ensure that increased trade openness is beneficial to all countries. By providing evidence and clarity on a range of topics, the report seeks to contribute to a more informed debate on policy choices and t o identify required improvements in the policy processes within which these choices are made. Purchase a print copy.

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