The mix of good and bad news comes in the 2014-2023 Agricultural Outlook, issued jointly by the
The OECD/FAO Agricultural Outlook examines trends regarding prices, dietary habits and other influencing factors such as production and demand, in addition to assessing the major policy challenges facing the sector.
This year’s Agricultural Outlook, which is the 20th of its kind, “looks at the prospects for developing countries under the assumption that average weather patterns and current policies persist”, according to
“It gives an overview of the global market within the next 10 years, assuming that there are no disturbances”, Matthey told IPS
Crop prices are expected to stabilise significantly below recent peaks, although they will likely remain above pre-2008 levels, while meat and dairy prices will have reached record highs in 2013/14.
“We are very positive regarding the agricultural outlook for developing countries because they have the resources to expand production and are also expected to maintain strong growth rates in terms of consumption”, said Matthey.
Under the assumptions of this outlook, he added, it was found that “more than 80% of additional production will originate from developing countries and 50% of both the additional production and consumption over the next decade will take place in Asia.”
But there are still many obstacles in the way of ensuring that everyone can reap the benefits of increased agricultural productivity.
“We still face a challenge with access to food. Higher food prices imposed undeniable hardship on the world’s poorest people, who spend a large share of their incomes on food. They also did more harm than good to poor farmers, who are more often than not net buyers of food staples,” OECD Secretary-General
Among others, he said, there is a need “to extend social protection to cushion the effects of price shocks and help farmers manage risks and continue to invest in agricultural productivity so that farmers can respond effectively to price signals”, but tackling these challenges “in ways that are both inclusive and sustainable is a formidable challenge.”
This year’s Agricultural Outlook focuses on the case of
According to FAO Director-General JosÉ
However, the Agricultural Outlook also warns that implementation of the programme will be challenging.
“While there is enough food being produced, the access to food, the distribution of food and the healthy utilisation of food [in terms of adequate diet and access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare] are challenges that remain,” said
For example, according to the U.N. Children’s Fund (
The challenge is also to be more efficient in terms of infrastructure, including storage and transportation as well as means of delivery.
“The circuit of producing, procuring, storing and distributing food to those who lack access, all completed locally, as is accomplished in many places covered by the Zero Hunger Programme in
The Zero Hunger Programme was launched in 2003 by the Brazilian government with the aim of eliminating hunger and poverty.
However, Kenmore warned that “the fact that the price of subsidised food grains is 90 percent cheaper also represents a strong incentive for opportunists to obtain this subsidised food and resell it on the open market.”
“At the moment there are millions that are benefiting from the Public Distribution System that is being expanded under the NFSA but many that are not. Exclusion, discrimination and sub-optimal implementation are key concerns”, he told IPS.
There is a need to improve accountability and grievance mechanisms to allow people to make a complaint in case they cannot access subsidised food to which they would otherwise be entitled and, said Kenmore, these mechanisms “must not merely be notional but also effective.”
Most Popular Stories
- Tablets, Cars Drive AT&T Gains
- 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Is Fast and Eager
- Small Businesses Add 3 More Worries to Their List
- DOMA Tech Adding Jobs to Process VA Claims
- Apple Warns of China iCloud Attack
- Job Hunting Is Hard Work
- Tech Firms Flock to LA's 'Silicon Beach'
- Stocks Subdued After Gains Earlier in Week
- Ford, GM Expect to Report Strong Profits
- Consumer Prices Edge Up, Surprising Economists