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Urgent Actions Needed to Address Emerging Food Security Challenges
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Urgent Actions Needed to Address Emerging Food Security Challenges



Shenggen Fan

Shenggen Fan
Director General
International Food Policy Research Institute



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  • In Asia, self-reported food insecurity declined sharply in 2007/08, especially in China and India and more modestly in Indonesia before rising again in 2009. This is consistent with the fact that food inflation was modest in all three countries whilst economic growth was rapid. Self-reported food insecurity is estimated from the World Gallup Poll on whether a household has experienced difficulties affording food over the previous 12 months. The Gallup Poll was conducted over the period 2005-2010 and it covered almost 90 percent of the developing world population. While such data may not be ideal, it offers a useful barometer for gauging the welfare impacts of the global food crisis.
  • The Bangladesh study examined two components of the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) program: (1) Income-Generating VGD (IGVGD) and (2) Food Security VGD (FSVGD). Both target poor women. IGVGD has a built-in mechanism to provide credit and training on income-generating activities in agriculture; The FSVGD program provides a combination of food and cash to program participants.

Urgent Actions Needed to Address Emerging Food Security Challenges Urgent Actions Needed to Address Emerging Food Security Challenges Presentation Transcript

  • Urgent Actions Needed to Address Emerging Food Security Challenges
    Shenggen FanDirector General
    International Food Policy Research Institute
    International Workshop on “Climate Change, Price Volatility, and Food Security: Perspectives from Southeast Asia”
    Jakarta, April 20, 2011
  • Key messages
    Global food insecurity persists, including in Southeast Asia
    Food price volatility, biofuel expansion, and climate change are major emerging food security challenges
    Urgent actions are needed to address these challenges
    Emerging economies have a key role to play in enhancing global food security
  • Many are still hungry despite progress
    Number of undernourished persons
    Source: Data from FAO 2011
    Source: United Nations 2010
  • Global food price hikes and volatility
    Global hikes since June 2010
    Maize: 90%
    Wheat: 82%
    Volatility due to
    Natural disasters
    Panic purchases
    Trade restrictions, etc.
    High domestic food inflation (yoy)
    China: 11% (Feb. 2011)
    India: 11% (Feb. 2011)
    Indonesia: 14% (Mar. 2011)
    Source: Data from FAO 2011
  • Domestic prices are also rising rapidly
    Source: FAO 2011
  • High and volatile food prices affect food security, but outcomes vary
    Self-reported food insecurity in select countries
    Source: Headey 2011
  • Rising energy prices influence food security
    Rising energy prices cause food prices to increase, rather than the reverse (Heady and Fan 2010)
    Rising energy prices make biofuels more profitable, rather than agricultural production more expensive (Abbott, Hurt, and Tyner 2008)
    Source: Data from IMF 2011
  • Biofuels raise food security and environmental concerns
    Crop-based biofuels:
    • compete with food availability and push up food prices
    • increase CO2 emissions through conversion of e.g. rainforests and grasslands
    Yearsto repay carbon debt for 9 scenarios of biofuel production
    (Fargione et al. 2008)
  • Climate change adds to pressure on food systems
    Climate change impact on production: Irrigated rice, 2050
    Increased intensity and rate of natural disasters e.g. droughts and floods
    Large yield losses and production cuts
    SE Asia total production = -17%
    Source: IFPRI 2011
  • Natural disasters undermine food security
    # of persons affected, 2009
    Negativeimpacts on the poor and hungry through:
    • crop and asset losses
    • agric. and non-agric. infrastructure damages
    • farm and non-farm income declines
    • higher expenditure costs, etc.
    Source: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database 2011
    Disaster risk management should be integrated ex ante into food security strategies (Haen 2008)
  • Urgent actions needed to address emerging food security challenges
  • Invest in agriculture and smallholder productivity
    Source: Data from IFPRI SPEED database
    Improve access to quality seeds, fertilizer, financial and extension services, crop insurance, new technologies, rural infrastructure
  • Promote productive social safety nets
    Bangladesh Vulnerable Group Development program
    Increased per capita food consumption by 45-66 kcal per taka transfer (Ahmed et al. 2009)
    Ethiopia Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP)
    With access to both safety nets and agric. support, beneficiaries are more food secure and productive (Gilligan, Hoddinott, and Taffesse 2009)
    Nigeria Fadama II Development Project
    Increased the value of individual productive assets by about 50% (Nkonya et al. 2008)
  • Emerging economies have a key role to play in enhancing food security (1)
    Share of global crop production,2007 (%)
    Share of world GDP, PPP (%)
    Source: Data from IMF 2011Note: Projections after 2009
    Source: Data from FAO 2011
  • Emerging economies have a key role to play in enhancing food security (2)
    South-South trade: Expanding
    South-South FDI: ~1/3 of all FDI to developing countries
    Emerging economies:
    promote technologies more suitable for developing countries
    provide buffer during crises
    provide platform for mutual learning
    Agriculture and food exports to developing countries (US$ bil.)
    Source: Data from UNCTAD 2011