Global food security: recommendations to the G20
26 May, 2011
One of our recent conference highlighted a number of recommendations for the forthcoming G20 meeting to address volatility in food and commodity prices.
Global food and agriculture: policy options in response to increased volatility
Monday 11 –Wednesday 13 April 2011 (WP1081)
Key conclusions and recommendations from the Wilton Park discussions included:
- Policy recommendations to the G20 concerning volatility
- Trade at all levels needs to be more rule-based if supply and demand are to match.
- Markets must be open and allowed to function effectively.
- A global institutional framework, rather than specific pieces of regulation, is necessary to address volatility.
- Policy must address the root causes of volatility and not just the symptoms.
- Policy attention will still be required when markets settle, as price spikes will recur.
- Years of under-investment in agriculture should be rectified and the economic power of agriculture harnessed in the name of job creation and development.
- Agricultural research and development should be increased and tailored to areas, such as Africa, where gains in production and productivity can be made.
- The private sector needs to be mobilised in emerging-market countries.
- Greater transparency of prices and production is required throughout the food chain.
- Future challenges must be seen through the twin prisms of sustainability and equitability. These should not be viewed as luxuries but become an integral part of policy approaches.
- Greater understanding of the current situation is essential. Regional variation and the granularity of national settings must be taken into account when addressing volatility, as its effects vary with context.
- A more nuanced understanding of how we categorise the world in food- and agriculture-related debates is needed. Divisions such as high-income/low-income or developed/developing countries have limitations.
- A greater focus on middle-income countries is required, as they are home to a high proportion of the world’s hungry. Dynamics between low- and middle-income countries are important too.