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.

 

Further Information

Conference on Global food and agriculture: policy options in response to increased volatility

Conference on How to balance food security with sustainability of agricultural production

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