“Prices of internationally traded food commodities continued to decline—by 6%—between June and October. These declines have added to the falling price trend since the all-time high of August 2012. Record harvests in wheat, maize and rice, along with stronger global stocks, a weaker dollar and releases of public stocks of rice, have driven down prices. Yet, international prices are not far from their historical peak; wheat markets remain tight despite rebounding harvests; and unfavorable weather conditions in South America, Black Sea countries, and India are increasing concerns. Domestically, food prices show their typical large variations across countries, mainly the result of seasonal factors as well as procurement policies and localized production shortfalls. This issue of the Food Price Watch also explores the role that extra-large-scale farming, popularly known as super farms, may play in boosting agricultural productivity and poverty reduction. The jury is still out: social, environmental, and animal welfare concerns must be weighed with potentially promising benefits.”
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