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Food Policy Challenges and
Opportunities 2011 and Beyond
Per Pinstrup-Andersen
The Willard W. Cochrane Lecture in
Public Policy, University of Minnesota
September 30, 2011
What Food Crisis?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
International food price increase and volatility?
Starvation in the Horn of Eastern Africa?
Hunger, nutrient deficiencies and death among
millions of children?
Overweight, obesity, chronic diseases and death
among millions of children and adults?
The earth’s future productive capacity?
Source: FAO, http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/foodpricesindex/en/
International Maize Prices
Source: FAO, http://www.fao.org/giews/pricetool2/
International Rice Prices
Source: FAO, http://www.fao.org/giews/pricetool2/
International Rice Prices versus
Rice Prices in Delhi, India
Source: FAO, http://www.fao.org/giews/pricetool2/
International Maize Prices versus
Maize Prices in Niger
Source: FAO, http://www.fao.org/giews/pricetool2/
Maize Weekly Price Minus
12-Month Moving Average
100
80
60
40
20
0
-20
-40
-60
-80
Rice Weekly Price Minus
12-Month Moving Average
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
-50
-100
-150
Wheat Weekly Price Minus
12-Month Moving Average
150
100
50
0
-50
-100
1998
1999
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Volatility in Weather Patterns
Drought
Flooding
Irregular
Rainfall
Patterns
Production
Volatility
Strong Winds
Production Volatility
Supply Responses
Speculation
Government Policy
Government Policies
Market Information
Energy Prices
Demand Changes
Price Volatility
Policy Response to
Food Price Increases
 Maintaining government legitimacy
 Emphasis on Short-term measures
 Price controls, export bans, lifting import tariffs, rationing, food
distribution
 Emphasis on short-term transfers to urban lower middle
class
 Continued neglect of the rural poor
 Expanding food production
 Renewed interest in national self-sufficiency
 Reserve stocks, acquisition or control of land across borders
The Effects of Export Restrictions
on Rice Prices
Source: Derek D. Headley, “Rethinking the Global Food Crisis: The Role of Trade
Shocks,” International Food Policy Research Institute Discussion Paper 0958, March
2010.
Stock of Rice, Maize, and Wheat in
Percent of Use in China, 2005-2011 (%)
%
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
43.7
41.1
37.4
28.9
29
37.2
30.2
%
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Source: USDA, World Agricultural Supply and Demand
Projections, Several Years.
India – Grain Stock
2005/06 – 20011
Million
Tons
70
65
54
60
50
40
Estimate
25
30
20
Rice
Wheat
15
10
0
2005/06
2007/08
2009/10
2011
Approaches to Managing
Food Price Volatility
Prevent
Cope
Private
Storage
Transportation
Insurance
Hedging & Futures Markets
Public
Buffer Stocks
Import/Export Controls
Financial Market Regulation
Safety Nets
Transfers
Source: Timmer, P. 2011. Managing Price Volatility: Approaches
at the Global, National, and Household Levels. Stanford
Symposium Series on Global Food Policy and Food Security in
the 21st Century, Center on Food Security and the Environment,
Stanford University.
What do we want from the
food system?
 Food Security and good nutrition
 Efficient and Sustainable Resource Use
 Reasonable incomes for farmers
 Reasonable prices for consumers
 Meeting Non-food Demands
 Support of general economic growth
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
The Triple Burden of
Malnutrition
1. Energy and protein deficiencies: Hunger
2. Specific nutrient deficiencies: Hidden
Hunger
3. Excessive net energy intake: Overweight
& Obesity
Progress Towards Meeting the
WFS Goal Globally
1100
1000
1020
842
923
Millions
900
848
800
925
863
Data
700
91-04
600
WFS
500
421
400
Source: FAO 2006
Progress Towards Meeting the
MDG Globally
25%
20%
20%
18%
16%
15%
18%
17%
16%
17%
10%
5%
2010
2009
2008
2005-07
2000-02
1995-97
1990-92
0%
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
Population Growth Rate
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
CIS
E. Asia
LAC
Source: UNICEF 2006
Dev'ing
Avg
S. Asia
W/C
Africa
E/S
Africa
Source: PRB, 2007
Annual Average Population
Growth Rate, %
2.5
2
1.5
1950-2000
2000-2050
2050-2100
1
0.5
0
World
More Developed
Regions
Less Developed
Regions
Under-Five Mortality Rate
(per thousand)
300
250
200
1950
2000
2050
2100
150
100
50
0
World
More Developed
Regions
Less Developed
Regions
Change in the Contribution of Each
Food Group to Energy Intake
1980-2005
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
 Increasing water scarcity and soil degradation
Liters of Water
per Kilogram of Product
Source: Waterfootprint ( https://waterfootprint.org) accessed May 15, 2009; Gleick 2008
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
 Increasing water scarcity and soil degradation
 Climate change
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
per Kilogram of Food Item
Source: Williams, Audsley, and Sandars 2006.
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
 Increasing water scarcity and soil degradation
 Climate change
 Falling productivity growth rates, large losses
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
 Increasing water scarcity and soil degradation
 Climate change
 Falling productivity growth rates, large losses
 Poor rural infrastructure
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
 Increasing water scarcity and soil degradation
 Climate change
 Falling productivity growth rates, large losses
 Poor rural infrastructure
 Poorly functioning markets
Projected Growth in
African Food Systems, 2010-2050
Consumption
Distribution
Packaging
Processing
Marketing
Farming
Inputs
Growth multiple:
2050 value/2010 value
6X
3X
9X
Source: Haggblade, Steven. 2011. Modernizing African agribusiness:
Reflections for the future. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and
Emerging Economies 1(1): 10-30.
Food Policy Challenges
 Widespread and increasing hunger and malnutrition
 Population growth, diet transition and biofuel
 Lack of government commitment, policy failure
 Increasing water scarcity and soil degradation
 Climate change
 Falling productivity growth rates, large losses
 Poor rural infrastructure
 Poorly functioning markets
 Food price volatility
Food Policy Opportunities
 Attention of policy-makers to food crisis
 Application of modern science
 Expanding investment in public goods
 Internalizing environmental costs into private
costs
 Improving policies and institutions
Suggested Priority 1
 Large-scale investments in rural infrastructure,
domestic markets and Human Resources
 Feeder roads
 Appropriate institutions
 Farmer associations
 Public sector institutions (contract enforcement, weights and
measures, etc.)
 Market information
 Water management infrastructure
 Primary education, health care and improved sanitation
Suggested Priority 2
 A doubling of public investment in agricultural
research and technology
 Improved water management to enhance use efficiency
 Increased sustainable land and labor productivity and
reduced production risks
 Biotic and abiotic stresses: drought tolerance, resistance to

insects and diseases
Sustainable production methods, biodiversity protection
 Mitigation of impact of climate change and adaptation to
changes that will occur
Suggested Priority 3
 Enhanced policy incentives for the private sector to
invest in sustainable agriculture
 Savings and credit institutions for farmers
 Risk management tools for farmers and traders (for




market and production risks)
Public goods investments
Strengthen the purchasing power of small-holders
Establish competitive funds for technology development
Assure incentives for private sector innovation
Suggested Priority 4
 Remove international trade distortions (both
import and export restrictions)
 Regulation of Land Grabbing
 Clarity on water and land tenure
 Full Costing
 Pursue multiple-win solutions
Environmental Kuznets Curve
Hypothetical Relationships Between
Income and Deforestation/Soil Mining
Hypothetical Relationships Between
Income and Deforestation/Soil Mining
Concluding Questions
 Can future generations be well fed?
Concluding Questions
 Can future generations be well fed?
 Is environmental degradation necessary to meet
future food needs?
Concluding Questions
 Can future generations be well fed?
 Is environmental degradation necessary to meet

future food needs?
Is the food price increase since 2005 the beginning
of a long-term trend of increasing food prices?
Concluding Questions
 Can future generations be well fed?
 Is environmental degradation necessary to meet


future food needs?
Is the food price increase since 2005 the beginning
of a long-term trend of increasing food prices?
Will biomass be an important source of energy?
Concluding Questions
 Can future generations be well fed?
 Is environmental degradation necessary to meet



future food needs?
Is the food price increase since 2005 the beginning
of a long-term trend of increasing food prices?
Will biomass be an important source of energy?
Will everybody get access to the food they need?