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.
Table of Contents
Foreword 1. Global Food-Price Shocks and Poor People – An Overview Marc J. Cohen and Melinda Smale Part 1: Themes 2. Subsistence Farming as a Safety Net for Food Price Shocks 3. Understanding and Responding to the Links between Conflict and Hunger 4. Gender and the Global Food Price Crisis 5. The Links Between Food Security and Seed Security: Facts and Fiction that Guide Response 6. Genetically Modified Crops and the ‘Food Crisis’: Discourse and Material Impacts 7. The Long-Term Implications of the 2007/08 Commodity Price Boom 8. Which Instruments Best Tackle Food Price Instability in Developing Countries? 9. Bearing Risk is Hard to Do: Crop Price Risk Transfer for Poor Farmers and Low-Income Countries Part 2: Country Studies 10. The Mexican Tortilla Crisis of 2007: The Impacts of Grain-Price Shocks and Food-Production Chains 11. Food Crisis, Small-Scale Farmers, and Markets in the Bolivian Andes 12. The Effects of Changing Food Prices on Welfare and Poverty in Guatemala 13. Location, Vocation, and Price Shocks: Cotton, Rice and Sorghum-Millet Farmers in Mali 14. Lessons from the 2008 Global Food Crisis: Agro-Food Dynamics in Mali 15. Characteristics and Strategies Favouring Sustained Food Access during Guinea's Food-Price Crisis 16. Can Inflation be a Good Thing for the Poor? Evidence from Ethiopia 17. Agro-Food Market Policy and Food Security in South Africa 18. High Global Food Prices – Crisis or Opportunity for Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania? 19. The Functioning of the Egyptian Food-Subsidy System During Food Price Shocks 20. The Impact of High Food Prices on Poverty in China 21. Combating the Menaces of Rising Food Prices: The Experiences of West Bengal 22. Revisiting the Impact of Economic Crisis on Indonesian Agro-Food Production 23. The Impact of High Food Prices on Food Security in Cambodia 24. Food Price Hikes and the Situation of Farm Workers in the Philippines 25. International Food Prices, Agricultural Transformation, and Food Security in Central Asia 26. Two Agricultural Shocks in the Former USSR, 60 Years Apart 27. Thinking and Acting Outside the Charitable Food Box: Hunger and the Right to Food in Rich Societies
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.