Policy & Geopolitics

Countries need to balance food self-sufficiency with participation and competitiveness in global trade markets. With increasing conflicts, uneven impacts of climate change, and changes in globalization, global and national policy and governance will have a critical role in the future of food systems.

This section presents selected data on key trends in policy and geopolitics:

  1. Trends in conflict and food security crises
  2. Levels of structural transformation,
  3. Food price changes
  4. Changes in tariffs and subsidies

Please email info@foresight4food.net if we are missing a data update.

Undernourishment & Crises

The vast majority of the chronically food insecure and malnourished live in countries affected by conflict: an estimated 489 million of 815 million undernourished people and an estimated 122 million of 155 million stunted children.

Source: FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2017. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017. Building resilience for peace and food security. Rome, FAO.

Food Price & Riots

The global food price crises of 2007–08 and 2011 triggered riots in more than 40 countries, where the cost of imported basic goods increased, thereby eroding real incomes. Food insecurity can also sustain conflicts.

Source: FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2017. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017. Building resilience for peace and food security. Rome, FAO.

Food Price & Climate Change

At the global level, the decrease in agricultural production due to climate change is expected to result in a relatively small increase in world food market prices. Regionally, food consumer prices are expected to increase relative to the baseline in many regions, such as West Africa (5.6%), India (4.6%), and North Africa (1.2%).

Source: FAO. 2018. The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2018. Agricultural trade, climate change and food security. Rome.

Structural Transformation

Structural transformation proceeded in all regions, but with low starting points in East and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA) hardly changing, but Asia and Pacific (APR) starting low, but then surging ahead.

Source: IFAD, 2016. Rural Development Report 2016: Fostering inclusive rural transformation. Rome, IFAD

Agricultural Tariff Rates

Average applied tariff levels declined as countries met their commitments under the Agreement, but also as a result of bilateral and regional trade agreements and unilateral policy changes. However, the average hides variation in border protection on individual products.

Source: FAO. 2018. The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2018. Agricultural trade, climate change and food security. Rome.