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Policy responses to food price volatility - seminar at USAID

Between 2007 and 2008, world governments made decisions that, in conjunction with extreme weather events, turned an already alarming food supply and demand situation into a global food price crisis. This begs the question: How do governments make food policy decisions? Are they driven by data, special interests, theories of change or a combination of the above?

At a seminar held at USAID in Washington on the 2nd of February these quesions were addressed. The questions are particularly timely as governments prepare for the next round of predicted food price fluctuations (grain prices in the international market have already become unstable). Will governments be ready to deal with the outcomes?

Per Pinstrup-Andersen, World Food Prize laureate and professor at Cornell University, shared findings from a recent project, “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy.” This project was undertaken in collaboration with researchers from 14 developing countries and sought to improve the understanding of factors affecting government decision-making related to food policy during periods of food price volatility. Danielle Resnick, research fellow at The International Food Policy Research Institute and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, then elaborated on a broader conceptual framework of drivers of policy change in agriculture and nutrition.

Download the slides below:

Pinstrup-Andersen PPP