This piece originally appeared on the IFPRI.org blog
BY VALERIA PIÑEIRO AND SARA GUSTAFSON

The countries that make up the G20 account for around 60 percent of the world's agricultural land, some 80 percent of global agricultural trade, and about two-thirds of global population. As such, these countries have an important role to play in global food and nutrition security, as well as sustainable agricultural production.

Hard wheat prices continued to experience excessive volatility this week, according to the Food Security Portal’s Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System.

Photo Credit: Falk Lademann

The FAO Food Price Index fell sharply in July, the largest such decline since December 2017. The Index dropped by around 3.7 percent month-to-month from June, as well as 3.7 percent from its July 2017 levels. The decline is driven by reductions across all sub-indices.

The Cereal Price Index fell 3.6 percent from June and 0.8 percent from July 2017. The price of wheat, maize, and rice declined in June, although maize and wheat prices crept back up toward the end of the month due to concerns over production prospects.

Photo credit: Ostergaard/Panos

According to a new report from GAIN and the United States Council for International Business, one in three people worldwide suffer from either undernourishment or overweight/obesity. This malnutrition crisis is now global, affecting every country in the world.

The FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report for the second quarter of 2018 reports that 39 countries are currently in need of food assistance. Thirty-one of those countries are in Africa, seven are in Asia, and one is in Latin America and the Caribbean. Persistent conflict remain the leading driver of these needs. In addition, weather shocks have also limited food access and availability in the affected countries, in some cases severely.

Rising trade tensions drove the FAO Food Price Index down slightly in June. The 1.3-percent decline represents the first month-to-month drop since the beginning of 2018.

The Cereal Price Index fell by 3.7 percent but remains almost 8 percent higher than its June 2017 level. In June, wheat and maize prices fell sharply as a result of trade tensions, despite poor production prospects in many areas. Rice prices, on the other hand, rose based on tight supplies for some varieties.

Photo Credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT

Over 1,000 participants from more than 100 countries gathered in Berlin on May 28 and 29 for the 2018 Global Solutions Summit. The event, associated with the T20 (an engagement group of global think-tanks supporting the G20 process), brought together policymakers, private sector actors, and global thought leaders to discuss solutions to pressing global challenges like hunger and poverty, climate change, rapid globalization, economic and societal inequality and the erosion of democratic values.

Photo Credit: © European Commission

If we want to eradicate poverty, we need gender equality.

In May, the FAO Food Price Index reached its highest level since October 2017. This month’s increase was driven by dairy and cereal prices. The Index has risen continually in 2018.