Food Prices Fall in April but Food Security Remains a ConcernBy Sofía Hanna | Tue, 05/17/2022 - 13:51
Given inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war, global organizations seek to transform agri-food systems to guarantee food security and avoid a larger crisis. Food security requires a strategy that prioritizes producers and consumers so they can continue business as usual, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The food price index fell in April, a good first step to achieve greater purchase power for foodstuffs around the world.
“Peace is essential to protect people from hunger,” said QU Dongyu, Director General, FAO. The organization has highlighted that this is a key moment to define the appropriate responses to manage the food crisis. An essential part of making these strategies will be sharing proven solutions to help policymakers across the region address these challenges. According to FAO’s Strategic Framework for 2022-2031, the strategies must start by empowering small farmers, family farms, and younger farmers. They should also aim to transform agri-food systems, sustainably manage natural resources and preserve biodiversity, including in response to war and the COVID-19 crisis.
Not only are food prices and availability an issue; the supply chain crisis is also limiting the availability of food and fertilizers. The Russia-Ukraine war and China’s COVID-19 restrictions are endangering food supply and safety all around the world. Russia and Ukraine together account for almost 30 percent of global wheat exports and the Russian Federation is the largest exporter of fertilizers. A lack of fertilizers and a price increase could lead to a decrease in their use in the coming season and possibly beyond, with the real prospect of a fall in food productivity further driving prices higher, as previously reported by MBN.
April’s fall in food prices combined with the strategies that have been implemented to fight inflation have opened new possibilities for these new methodologies. Mexico’s government has relied on subsidies to facilitate the acquisition of food and fertilizers, and has focused on building a strategic corn reserve using resources from the Mexican Food Security (SEGALMEX) organization. The local government also aims to guarantee stable prices for corn, beans, rice and milk to strengthen production, while reinforcing highway security to prevent theft of food and supplies and reducing tariffs at customs and ports.