1st Edition

Global Food-Price Shocks and Poor People Themes and Case Studies

Edited By Marc Cohen, Melinda Smale Copyright 2012
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the effects of high and volatile food prices during 2007-08 on low-income farmers and consumers in developing, transition, and industrialized countries. Previous studies of this crisis have mostly used models to estimate the likely impacts. This volume includes actual evidence from the field as to how higher prices affected access to food and farm income among poor people. In addition to country and regional case studies, the book presents discussions of cross-cutting themes, including gender, risk management, violence, the importance of subsistence farming as a coping strategy, and the role of governments and markets in addressing higher prices.

    With 2011 witnessing an unprecedentedly high level of food prices, the findings and policy recommendations presented here should prove useful to both scholars and policy makers in understanding the causes and consequences, as well as the policies needed to ensure food security in light of the skyrocketing cost of food.

    This book was published as a special double issue of Development in Practice.

    Foreword  Deborah Eade, Consultant

    1. Introduction  Marc J. Cohen and Melinda Smale, Oxfam America

    Part I: Themes

    2. Subsistence Farming as a Safety Net for Food Price Shocks (Viewpoint)  Alain de Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet, University of California-Berkeley

    3. Understanding and Responding to the Links between Conflict and Hunger (Viewpoint)  Ellen Messer, Tufts University and Marc J. Cohen, Oxfam America

    4. Gender and the Global Food Price Crisis (Viewpoint)  Agnes Quisumbing, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Julia Behrman, International Food Policy Research Institute, and Lucy Bassett, World Bank

    5. The Links Between Food Security and Seed Security: Facts and Fiction that Guide Response  Shawn McGuire, University of East Anglia and Louise Sperling, International Center for Tropical Agriculture

    6. Genetically Modified Crops and the ‘Food Crisis’ (Viewpoint)  Glenn D. Stone and Dominic Glover, Washington University of St. Louis

    7. The Long-Term Implications of the 2007/08 Commodity Price Boom (Viewpoint)  John Baffes, World Bank

    8. Which Instruments Best Tackle Food Price Instability in Developing Countries? (Viewpoint)  Franck Galtier, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement

    9. Bearing Risk is Hard to Do: Crop Price Risk Transfer for Poor Farmers and Low-Income Countries  Leander Schneider, Concordia University (Canada)

    Part II: Country Studies

    10. The Mexican Tortilla Crisis of 2007: Grain Price Shocks and Food Production Chains  Alder Keleman, Yale University and Hugo Garcia CEE – PROCIENTEC (Mexico)

    11. The Effects of Changing Food Prices on Welfare and Poverty in Guatemala  Miguel Robles and Meagan Keefe, International Food Policy Research Institute

    12. Food Crisis, Small-scale Farmers, and Markets in the Bolivian Andes  Carlos A. Perez, Columbia University; Claire Nicklin, McKnight Foundation; and Sarela Paz, Columbia University

    13. Location, Vocation, and Price Shocks: Cotton, Rice and Sorghum-Millet Farmers in Mali  Melinda Smale, Oxfam America; Lamissa Diakité, Institut d’Economie Rurale (Mali); and Naman Keita, Kene Consulting (Mali)

    14. The 2008 Food Crisis and Agro-Food Dynamics in Mali (Viewpoint)  William G. Moseley, Macalester College

    15. Characteristics and Strategies Favouring Sustained Access to Food in Rural Guinea during the Food Price Crisis  Loek E. A. Peeters and Dan G. Maxwell, Tufts University

    16. Can Inflation be a Good Thing for the Poor? Evidence from Ethiopia  Elisa Ticci, European University Institute and Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, World Bank

    17. Agro-Food Market Policy and Food Security in South Africa (Viewpoint)  Peter T. Jacobs, Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa)

    18. Global Food Prices - Crisis or Opportunity for Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania?  Joseph P. Hella, Sokoine University; Ruth Haug, Norwegian University of Life Science, and Illuminatous M. Kamile, Sokoine University

    19. The Functioning of the Egyptian Food Subsidy System During Food Price Shocks  Rachel Trego, U.S. Department of Agriculture

    20. The Impact of High Food Prices on Poverty in China  Kaiyu Lu, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Yuxin Bing, International Food Policy Research Institute

    21. Combating the Menaces of Rising Food Prices: The Experiences of West Bengal  Dilip Kumar Ghosh, Howrah District Government, West Bengal State, India

    22. Revisiting the Impact of Economic Crisis on Indonesian Agro-Food Production  Mary M. Young, York University (Canada)

    23. The Impact of High Food Prices on Food Security in Cambodia  Chan Sophal, Cambodia Development Resource Institute

    24. Food Price Hikes and the Situation of Farm Workers in the Philippines (Viewpoint) Edgardo L. Santoalla, Oxfam Great Britain

    25. International Food Prices, Agricultural Transformation, and Food Security in Central Asia  Kamiljon T. Akramov, International Food Policy Research Institute

    26. Two Agricultural Shocks in the Former USSR, 60 Years Apart  Thomas Lines, Consultant

    27. Thinking and Acting Outside the Charitable Food Box: Hunger and the Right to Food in Rich Societies (Viewpoint)  Graham Riches, University of British Columbia


    Marc J. Cohen is senior researcher on humanitarian policy and climate change at Oxfam America. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a course on rural development and the world food crisis.

    Melinda Smale was a senior researcher at Oxfam America during the preparation of this special issue, and is currently a professor at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. Previously, she worked with several international agricultural research centres, where her research focused on crop biodiversity, the impacts of improved seed including biotechnology crops, and local seed markets.