Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free markets and food security

WB president Robert Zoellick argues that free markets can still feed the world and reduce food market volatility. To enable vulnerable countries access to food, he proposes the following measures be adopted by the G20:

  • Increase public access to information on the quality and quantity of grain stocks.
  • Improve long-range weather forecasting and monitoring, especially in Africa.
  • Deepen our understanding of the relationship between international prices and local prices in poor countries.
  • Establish small regional humanitarian reserves in disaster-prone, infrastructure-poor areas.
  • Agree on a code of conduct to exempt humanitarian food aid from export bans.
  • Ensure effective social safety nets.
  • Give countries access to fast-disbursing support as an alternative to export bans or price fixing.
  • Develop a robust menu of other risk management products.
  • Help smallholder farmers become a bigger part of the solution to food security.

One comment: Easier said than done!

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