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Revisiting the Global Food Architecture: Lessons from the 2008 Food Crisis

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  • Luc Christiaensen

Abstract

The 2008 episode of food price explosion, political turmoil, and human suffering revealed important flaws in the current global food architecture. This paper argues that to safeguard the strengths of the current system, four failures in market functioning and policymaking must be addressed. First, governments must reinvest in agriculture with a focus on public goods and subject to increased public accountability to re-ensure the global food supply. Second, the policy-induced link between food and fuel prices must be broken through a revision of EU and US agro-fuel policies. Third, better sharing of information on food stocks, stricter WTO regulation of export restrictions, and some form of globally managed buffer stock will be minimum requirements to prevent the resurgence of inefficient national food self-sufficiency policies. Fourth, a market-based food security system is only sustainable given well functioning national social safety nets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number WIDER Discussion Paper 2009-04.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:2009-04

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Keywords: agriculture; agro-fuels; food crisis; food security;

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  1. Nora Lustig, 2008. "Thought for Food: The Challenges of Coping with Soaring Food Prices," Working Papers 155, Center for Global Development.
  2. Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Yu, Bingxin, 2009. "An Updated Look at the Recovery of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51731, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Dessus, Sebastien & Herrera, Santiago & de Hoyos, Rafael, 2008. "The impact of food inflation on urban poverty and its monetary cost : some back-of-the-envelope calculations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4666, The World Bank.
  4. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
  5. Kherallah, Mylène & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Michael, 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa," Food policy statements 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Jayne, Thomas S., 2008. "The Impact of Fertilizer Subsidies on National Fertilizer Use: An Example from Malawi," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6464, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2006. "The Effect of Monetary Policy on Real Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 12713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Tom Slayton, 2009. "Rice Crisis Forensics: How Asian Governments Carelessly Set the World Rice Market on Fire," Working Papers 163, Center for Global Development.
  9. Maros Ivanic & Will Martin, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries-super-1," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 405-416, November.
  10. David Dawe, 2008. "Can Indonesia Trust The World Rice Market?," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 115-132.
  11. Lopez, Ramon & Galinato, Gregmar I., 2007. "Should governments stop subsidies to private goods? Evidence from rural Latin America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1071-1094, June.
  12. Mitchell, Donald, 2008. "A note on rising food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4682, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Tony Addison & Channing Arndt & Finn Tarp, 2011. "The Triple Crisis and the Global Aid Architecture," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 23(4), pages 461-478.

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