2011 Food Insecurity Report Highlights Climate Change as a Driver of Price Volatility

10 October 2011: The newly released report titled "The State of Food Insecurity in the World: How does international price volatility affect domestic economies and food security?" stresses that price volatility is likely to continue due to climate change and weather shocks, growing demand for biofuel, and the "financialization" of food and agricultural commodities.

The report highlights that natural resource constraints, especially climate change and the limited availability of productive land and water in some regions, pose substantial challenges to producing food at affordable prices. It further notes that in the future, climate change will likely increase the risks of adverse weather and pests and diseases that reduce farm income and result in more variable production.

The report reflects on the impacts of price volatility on food security, presenting options to reduce and manage volatility. The report underscores that: small import-dependent countries, particularly in Africa, were most effected by the food crisis; high and volatile food prices are likely to continue; price volatility makes smallholders and the poor increasingly vulnerable; short term price changes can have long-term impacts; safety nets are necessary to alleviate food insecurity in the short-term; and the most effective strategies will rely on a combination of increased productivity, greater policy predictability, and openness to trade.

It also suggest that high food prices have presented incentives for long-term investments in agriculture, which may contribute to long-term improved food security. The report was produced by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The report is produced annually. [IFAD Press Release] [Publication: The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011] [FAO Press Release]