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

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.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Discussion Paper
Volume:
2009/04
Title:
Revisiting the Global Food Architecture: Lessons from the 2008 Food Crisis
Authors:
Luc Christiaensen
Publication date:
September 2009
ISBN 13 Print:
9789292302191
ISBN 13 Web:
9789292302207
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2009
Keywords:
agriculture, agro-fuels, food crisis, food security
JEL:
Q18
Project:
New Directions in Development Economics (2008)
Sponsor:
UNU-WIDER acknowledges the financial contributions to the research programme by the governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
Format:
online and printed copies
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