Last year witnessed the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the launch of a new global development agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Photo Credit: Flickr: Fintrac, Inc.

A country’s food security conditions clearly have implications for the types of policies its leaders will try to enact and for the way that country interacts with international organizations and governing bodies. Much effort has been made to classify countries according to their food and nutrition security status in order to better guide policymaking, but determining such classifications is complicated.

Climate change has been front and center of the global agenda recently, driven by the historic COP21 meeting in Paris in December and concerns about the ongoing El Niño cycle.

BY: David Laborde and Eugenio Díaz-Bonilla, IFPRI

Export subsidies for agriculture have been a contentious issue. A particular anomaly in the multilateral trading system framework is that while export subsidies in industrial products have been banned under WTO rules, they are still allowed for agricultural products, including some that are rather industrialized, such as dairy and meat products.

In a new book, Macroeconomics, Agriculture, and Food Security: A Guide to Policy Analysis in Developing Countries, IFPRI’s Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla unpacks the significant and complex interplay between policies within a state’s economic program-- fiscal policy, monetary policy, exchange rate policy, and trade policy—and the impact of those relationships on agricultural development and food security.

Children enjoying the sweet taste of orange sweet potato. Photo credit: flickr (HarvestPlus)

Famine used to be the focus of efforts to combat hunger, but changes in policy, technology and aid have brought the developing world to the point where “calamitous famines” (with a death toll of one million or more) and even “great famines” (100,000 or more) are much more rare.

Land cleared for oil palm plantation, Indonesia. Photo Credit: Flickr (Nanang Sujana/CIFOR)

BY: David Laborde and Simla Tokgoz, IFPRI

Corn harvester. Photo Credit: Flickr (USDA/Lance Cheung)

Commodity prices regularly move together, despite the fact that causes of fluctuation can vary from commodity to commodity. Cross-market volatility could lower the effectiveness of diversification as a strategy for reducing price risks, so understanding the dynamics behind market interdependence and volatility transmission is critical.

Photo Credit: Children enjoying sweet potato. Flickr (HarvestPlus)

By: Kelly Jones and Alan de Brauw, IFPRI