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

Volatility is once again decried in Rome

October 14, 2013

The 40th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) began on October 7 in Rome. Parallel to the session, 40 Agriculture Ministers met for the second ministerial meeting on global food prices. The first meeting was held in October 2012 and focused on food price volatility in response to the third spike in international grain prices in five years.

Among the key lessons drawn from the meeting, we note the durability of agricultural price volatility, which is doomed to continue. As stated by José Graziano da Silva, “In spite of some calmer markets, the issue of fluctuating food prices are not behind us. International prices have declined but are still above their historical levels. And prices are expected to remain volatile over the next years.”

To rectify this unstable situation, the participants––including French Minister Stéphane Le Foll, Belgian Minister Sabine Laruelle and various NGO representatives––called for improved global governance through, in particular, the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) created by the G20 in 2011, which has proved an effective weapon in the fight against excessive price volatility, “providing reliable information and increasing transparency in the international food market,” according to the FAO Director-General and the Rapid Response Forum.

Among other recommendations and proposals, Sabine Laruelle advocated the implementation of a global observatory on price formation and on markets to provide useful data in addition to AMIS.

At a time when the global geopolitical environment demands more pragmatism, especially at the government and international organization levels, the meeting emphasized the urgency to prepare for an upcoming “market turbulence” that will surely destabilize the increasingly globalized and financialized agricultural activities.

While the current intrinsic volatility of agricultural markets is a globally accepted fact, its causes and the solutions to confront it are not meeting unanimous support. While AMIS and the Rapid Response Forum deserve the credit to exist, their effectiveness has yet to be demonstrated. And while we salute the report findings at the close of the meeting, we need to point out that there is a sharp upward as well as downward volatility of agricultural prices, which deserves a pro-active approach.

Another ministerial conference will be held next December in Bali, in the framework of the WTO, which wants to put food security at the core of its talks. Let’s hope that the commitments made in Rome by the ministers on October 7 will not, once again, be abandoned in the name of “multilateral trade liberalization.”

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Paris, 18 June 2019