A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Price volatility remains a growing concern

September 10, 2012


The recent increase in food prices is leading the major UN food agencies––FAO, WFP and IFAD––to sound the alarm. On August 17, the Brazilian FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva stated that under these circumstances “agricultural prices will remain high and experience hefty volatility over the next ten years.” Taking the scenario even further, a joint communiqué issued by the agencies on September 4 warned that soaring food prices could develop into “a humanitarian tragedy”, and bring about another food crisis identical to the one of 2007-2008.

The international community’s ongoing concern can be explained by the increasingly strained tensions in agricultural markets. The devastating drought in the U.S. and the disastrous harvests in Russia caused soaring prices––a 25 percent rise for corn and wheat between June and July, and 17 percent for soybean. Such increases are expected to continue in the upcoming months, and the FAO monthly food price index reached 213 points in July––a six percent increase over June––and is thus dangerously close to the February 2011 record of 238 points.

As in previous crises, climate hazards triggered soaring prices in markets that were especially “dried up” since they are unregulated and subjected to unfettered speculation. The combined consequences are generating less market visibility and fewer quantities in the later part of the period, and are further aggravated by particularly tough economic conditions.

How many food crises similar to the one of 2007-2008 must we face before the international community takes practical action and gets to the core of the problem of the uncontrolled hyper-volatility of agricultural prices?

While it is humanly impossible to perform as demiurges and act on upcoming climate fluctuations, it is possible however (and the tools do exist!) to implement a pertinent policy to regulate agricultural markets at limited cost. This is the task carried out by momagri since its creation, an undertaking that, as early as 2007, resulted in the development of the principles of governance needed to confront such type of crisis1.

Food security has indeed become a global issue addressed by international forums, but the frequency of crises is nevertheless accelerating, along with all economic and social implications, particularly in developing countries…

1 These principle of governance are outlined in the following momagri article available at: http://www.momagri.org/UK/points-of-view/Ten-propositions-by-Momagri-for-a-new-Vision-for-Agriculture_337.html
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Paris, 26 April 2019