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The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released on February 13. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments over the past month at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries, and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.

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Global wheat supplies dropped by 4.2 million tons this month due to sharply reduced production in India and Kazakhstan, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. WASDE also raised its global wheat use estimates for 2016-2017 based on higher feed and residual use. This combination of falling global supplies and increasing global demand has led world ending stock estimates to be reduced by 4.7 million tons.

Research shows that the global growth of information and telecommunication technologies (ICTs) has resulted in significant development opportunities, especially in rural areas. ICTs can improve households’ agricultural production and profitability, increase job opportunities, and encourage the adoption of healthier practices and more effective risk management techniques.

Surging cereal export prices brought the FAO Food Price Index to a two-year high in January. The Index rose 2.1 percent above its December level, to 173.8 points. This is the highest level seen since February 2015 and as much as 24.5 points above its January 2016 level.

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The global population is expected to grow to more than 9 billion people by 2050. In such a scenario, ensuring the availability of and access to affordable and nutritious food will be a major challenge.

In the lead-up to last week’s G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting, held in Berlin from January 20-22, the T20 Task Force released a policy brief calling for improved policymaking for sustainable land and water use. The authors highlighted that integrated resource-use policies are essential to achieving sustainable agricultural and ending hunger worldwide.

Climate change, disease outbreaks, price spikes, conflict - resilience to such shocks has become a widespread goal among development practitioners and policymakers, but what exactly is resilience? How can we define resilience and how can it be measured to ensure that programs and policies aimed at increasing poor populations’ resilience to shocks truly enhance food security and overall welfare?

Photo Credit: Katrin Park / IFPRI

The FAO Food Price Index fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2016, according to the most recently released report. For 2016 overall, the Index averaged 161.6 points, which is down 1.5 percent from its 2015 average. Cereal, meat, and dairy prices all declined in 2016, more than making up for rises in sugar and vegetable oil prices.

Ensuring food and nutrition security in the face of growing populations, increasing incomes, and a changing climate will require countries to transform their food systems to be more sustainable and equitable. A 2016 report published by IFPRI and the Compact2025 Initiative looks at recent successful food system transformations in Brazil, Rwanda, and Vietnam that helped significantly reduce hunger and undernutrition in these countries.