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Implementing CAADP in a Context of High and Volatile Food Prices

Underlying Factors, Policy Challenges and Recommendations







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    Improving Policy Response to the Differentiated Impacts of High and Volatile Food Prices on Rural Women 2012
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    In a high and volatile food price setting, two aspects determine rural women’s ability to absorb and respond to shocks: the inequalities that create a gender gap in rural development and women’s traditional roles in society. This chapter points to these two aspects that in general terms reduce women’s ability to cope with food price volatility. Rural women, traditionally responsible for providing food and health in the household, face major constraints in fulfilling their roles, render ing them more vulnerable to food price spikes. Major recommendations include building on rural women’s resiliency and mitigating negative coping strategies by reducing gender inequalities in rural development and by providing safety-nets that are appropriately designed to address rural women’s needs and limitations. Gender gaps in rural development refer to those in access to resources; better paying jobs; infrastructure, public services, agricultural extension and technologies, and le vels of participation in farmers organizations and other public institutions. Better design in safety-nets and other social protection programs refer to including mechanisms that are culturally sensitive, reduce women’s time burden, and provide the necessary transportation, child care facilities, and other services and mechanisms that ensure their participation. Gender-transformative approaches in the implementation of policies and programs, including capacity development on gender rol es for the household as a whole, are essential for ending discrimination against women which constraint their economic and social empowerment. Additional areas of research include gender-differentiated impacts of high food prices and volatility, both at the individual and household levels, and the effectiveness of safety-nets and other social protection programs designed to address rural women-specific needs.
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    High and volatile food prices - FAO support to country level contingency planning 2012
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    The phenomenon of high and volatile food prices is unlikely to disappear any time soon. This places a responsibility on FAO to assist national governments in combating the problems caused. As far as FAO programmatic support is concerned a two pronged approach is recommended. First, medium term investments to boost agricultural production should begin NOW as an early action measure which will reduce the impact of rising international food prices as this inevitably takes place in the coming years. Second, the various productive safety net activities should be used in conjunction with social safety nets to reduce the impact of transitory price spikes as these occur within the overall context of rising prices. If carefully done, productive safety nets can stimulate efficiency and capacity improvements within the agricultural sector, thus helping to promote the longer term goals of FAO programmatic support.
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    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
    2013
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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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