The volatility of food prices in international markets is no bad memory, but rather a permanent risk. According to FAO director general Graziano Da Silva, governments must adopt long-term strategies to effectively address the problem.
As a part of the meeting of 30 ministers of agriculture called to Rome to talk about market stability, the FAO chief stated “even if the situation less acute compared to a few years ago”, prices for primary agricultural commodities “are still much higher than their historic values and volatility will remain in the future”.
After three sudden food price peaks and subsequent drops in 2008 and 2011, it is necessary to take advantage of the optimal 2013 cereal harvest to rebuild surpluses, and stave off price swings. As Paolo De Castro, chair of the European Parliamentary Commission on Agriculture, explains in the book The Politics of Land and Food Scarcity price volatility and increases are not due to occasional structural factors.
Countries all over the world should take advantage of this “relative calm”, Da Silva suggests, to identify ideal solutions to “adapt to the new scenario”.