UN Guide for Policy and Programmatic Actions at Country Level to Address High Food Prices

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 8, 2011

FAO’s Initiative on Soaring Food Prices – Guide for Policy and Programmatic Actions at Country Level to Address High Food Prices, January 2011

  • “Low-income food-deficit countries have been hit hard by high food prices in recent years. The people most affected by higher food prices are net food buyers, depending on the extent to which international price movements are transmitted to domestic markets. Net food buyers are urban residents and small farmers, fisherfolk, foresters, pastoralists and agricultural labourers who do not produce enough to cover their needs. Producers who are net buyers in value terms have also been affected because they sell at the time of harvest in order to finance essential needs and buy back at a higher price later in the year. The primary beneficiaries of higher food prices are those who have been holding food stocks and are now able to sell at a high price. Potential beneficiaries are commercial farmers and other operators within food value chains, provided high world prices are transmitted to them throughout the value chain. While commercial farmers will be hurt by rising fertilizer prices, they stand to benefit on balance because the costs of fertilizer usually make up a relatively small (although growing) percentage of the gross revenue from production. In planning country-level actions, it is essential to tailor the response to the specific conditions of the country and the situation of different stakeholders concerned. Since the situation can vary from country to country, “one size fits all” strategies are not effective; they have even been counterproductive in many cases.”
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