Food systems: key to avoiding rising food prices

According to him International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES), Food systems need urgent reform if millions of people are to be saved from critical food insecurity. The agency calls for urgent measures to provide financial assistance and write off debts to vulnerable countries. And thus suppress excessive commodity speculation.

Furthermore, IPES calls on players in the food industry to:

  • Build regional grain reserves
  • Diversify food production and restructure trade flows
  • Reduce biofuels and dependence on fertilizers and fossil energy in food production

IPES warnings occur in light of a the third food price crisis in 15 years started with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Experts say “fundamental rigidities, weaknesses and failures in global food systems” are fanning the flames of global hunger.

However, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) latest food price index shows that global food commodity prices fell in April. After a big jump last month, led by modest declines in vegetable oil and grain prices.

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FAO estimates that global wheat production will increase to 782 million metric tons in 2022.

Food systems that need to be rebuilt

He IPES-Food Report it was supposed to coincide with the FAO food price index. Who else predicts that global wheat production will increase in 2022, to 782 million metric tons.

The forecast includes an expected 20% drop in harvested area in Ukraine, as well as reduced production caused by drought in Morocco. The agency’s vegetable oil price index fell 5.7% in April, erasing almost a third of the increase recorded in March.

Because demand rationing lowered prices prices of palm, sunflower and soybean oil. Uncertainties about the availability of exports from Indonesia, the world’s leading exporter of palm oil, prevented further declines in international prices.

The small drop in the index is a welcome relief, especially for low-income and food-deficit countries, but food prices remain close to their recent highs. This reflects the continued limitation of markets and poses a challenge to global food security for the most vulnerable.

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Cash crops are promoted instead of providing a more diverse food supply, and some countries rely entirely on imports of staple foods.

Unresolved factors of food insecurity

IPES-Food assessed growing food insecurity ten weeks after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. One of the main drivers food insecurity It is a dependence on food imports concentrated on wheat, rice and corn. Which has caused a decrease in global dietary diversity.

Cash crops have been promoted instead of providing a more diverse food supply, and some countries are completely dependent on importing staples while in deep debt.

Entrenched production systems are other worrying factors. Excessive geographic specialization, business and government preferences for staple crops and biofuels, and reliance on synthetic fertilizers hinder farmers’ ability to diversify food production and change food production practices.

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