The sharp run-up in food prices has triggered riots in several countries and threatened to push millions of people below the poverty line. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Working Paper, Karen H. Johnson explains the causes and likely future course of food-price inflation and analyzes the implications for central banks, trade negotiators, and agricultural policy.
Authors: Rachel Slater, Leo Peskett, Eva Ludi, and David Brown
This paper seeks to trace the likely impacts of climate change through changes in the quality of the physical asset base, access to assets, and impacts on grain production and on agricultural growth more generally.
We are now several months into the global food crisis. Food prices have almost doubled in three years, threatening to push 100 million people into absolute poverty, undoing much of the development progress of the past few years. The new hunger has triggered riots from Haiti to Egypt to Ethiopia, threatening political stability; it has conjured up a raft of protectionist policies, threatening globalization. Yet, Sebastian Mallaby argues that the response to this crisis from governments the world over has been lackadaisical or worse.
Authors: Antoine Bouët, Simon Mevel, and David Orden
Over at International Food Policy Research Institute, Antoine Bouet, David Orden, and Simon Mevel argue that the if the U.S. agreed to the EU position on market access, then less developed countries would see significant gains from the Doha round.
Many emerging economies are under increasing pressure from developed world partners and international institutions to introduce free market procedures in their agricultural sectors as well as other sectors of the economy. This analysis from Oxfam questions that approach, looking at the agriculture and trade policies of six different developing countries, each of which has enjoyed unusually high rates of economic growth and development. They are South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Chile and Botswana. Their experience may shed further light on the extent to which governments should retain their powers to intervene in trade as opposed to relinquishing them in favour of market liberalisation.
The world's agricultural system stands at the shores of a technological Rubicon. On the near side, where most farmers toil today, new strains of crops are still largely the product of conventional hit-or-miss breeding. On the distant side, where the advance guard of farmers and seed companies already operates, a revolution in biotechnology awaits, in which scientists can control breeding and engineer new crops by splicing in genes from species near and far.
This paper seeks to place the divergent approaches of the European Union and United States toward the introduction and marketing of genetically modified (GM) foods and seeds in a broader context. It argues that an important key to understanding why Europe and the United States have chosen to regulate identical technologies in such a dissimilar fashion has to do with recent changes in politics of risk regulation in Europe.
The purpose of this report is to help create a more strategic policy on GM foods in the U.S. Its main product will be a major article that (a) articulates why the next generation of GM foods is a vitally important innovation, and (b) details policies for managing the environmental, health, trade, research and investment issues that arise in the GM food debate. Through a series of meetings in the U.S., along with efforts to catalyze a similar set of meetings in Europe, we will focus on the need for the specifics of a sensible long-term strategy.