A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Pierre Pagesse.
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.

FAO and France worry as food prices continue to rise

14 February 2011



The alarm was first sounded early January 2011 when there was a renewed spike in food prices.1Since then the FAO food price index, which measures variations in prices for 55 staples, has kept on setting record highs, and currently stands at its highest level since it was first introduced in 1990.

The increase for the month of January is of 3.4% on December 2010, with the index now standing at 231 points. At the height of the 2008 food crisis it stood at 200 points.

It is important to appreciate that the process in early 2010 is an ongoing one, with food prices having jumped significantly for the seventh month in a row. There is no indication that the index will drop as things stand at the moment. That is the opinion of Abdolreza Abbassian, an FAO economist and grains expert, who declared that "the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating".

Against this backdrop of a spike in prices, the French State and the FAO issued a warning on Friday 4 February in Rome of "the risk of rioting" throughout the world. "These increases and this price volatility will continue in the years to come if nothing is done to remedy the underlying causes of the disequilibrium in the international agricultural system," Jacques Diouf stated.

The question of the volatility of agricultural commodity markets, which is on the agenda of the G20, is thus one of particular urgency in France. It is worth recalling here that Bruno Le Maire, the representative of the French State in Rome, reminded those present of the four areas of intervention favored by Nicolas Sarkozy:

    - Greater transparency with regard to international stocks based on a system of statistics, the exchange of information, and more rapid means of intervention;
    - Greater control over physical and financial markets so as to obtain "more stable and less volatile" prices;
    - The setting up of an international joint effort by governments, multilateral institutions, and market operators;
    - Boosts to agricultural investment.
It is now urgent that these proposals be accepted by the international community as a whole if action is to be taken against these spikes in food prices. That is the difficult role that France will now have to assume in the run-up to the G20 in November.

1 Cf. momagri article of 17/01/11 : http://www.momagri.org/UK/a-look-at-the-news/Food-prices-have-not-been-as-high-since-2008_820.html
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Paris, 21 October 2014