Policy and Geopolitics

Countries need to balance food self-sufficiency with participation and competitiveness in global trade markets. With increasing conflicts, uneven impacts of climate change, and changes in globalization, global and national policy and governance will have a critical role in the future of food systems.

This section presents selected data on key trends in policy and geopolitics:

  1. Trends in conflict and food security crises
  2. Levels of structural transformation,
  3. Food price changes
  4. Changes in tariffs and subsidies

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Undernourishment & Crises

The vast majority of the chronically food insecure and malnourished live in countries affected by conflict: an estimated 489 million of 815 million undernourished people and an estimated 122 million of 155 million stunted children.

Food Price & Riots

The global food price crises of 2007–08 and 2011 triggered riots in more than 40 countries, where the cost of imported basic goods increased, thereby eroding real incomes. Food insecurity can also sustain conflicts.

Food Price & Climate Change

At the global level, the decrease in agricultural production due to climate change is expected to result in a relatively small increase in world food market prices. Regionally, food consumer prices are expected to increase relative to the baseline in many regions, such as West Africa (5.6%), India (4.6%), and North Africa (1.2%).

Structural Transformation

Structural transformation proceeded in all regions, but with low starting points in East and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA) hardly changing, but Asia and Pacific (APR) starting low, but then surging ahead.

Agricultural Tariff Rates

Average applied tariff levels declined as countries met their commitments under the Agreement, but also as a result of bilateral and regional trade agreements and unilateral policy changes. However, the average hides variation in border protection on individual products.