Topic: Soaring prices in agricultural commodity markets

By: Olajuyigbe V. Ibukun (MBA, International Agribusiness Management) Summary The increase in agricultural commodity prices raises concerns around the world especially as they threaten food security and sustainability (ADB, 2008 and Timmer, 2010). Both developed and developing countries are exposed to risks although the latter is prone to ‘greater’ dangers than the former. The fluctuations in food prices are not new, with spikes when marketing environmental conditions are tense and, lows, when the situation improves. There are however, certain factors that trigger the rise in food prices including; political issues, poor access to market, natural hazards, economic crisis and poverty (World Bank, 2011). To achieve lower prices, these factors must be reduced or mitigated and this in turn aids the outlook on food security and sustainability (POST, 2006). This report presents a literature review on soaring prices of agricultural commodity and its influence or risks to food security and sustainability in various countries across the globe with emphasis on selected developed and developing countries. The development of commodity prices, factors that influence them and actions to manage the rise in those prices will also be discussed. 1. Introduction: Development in Commodity Prices The rise in food prices is not a new phenomenon; it has occurred in the past and will continue to remain uncertain in future. It is borne out of sudden changes in the macroeconomic environment however, signals that indicate the trend of either low or high prices, always present themselves randomly in diverse situations (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). Increase in food prices can be traced back to the 20th century, after the ‘green revolution’ that began in the 1960’s. Food prices were low then because of massive investments in infrastructure and irrigation facilities, improved seeds for planting and the construction of fertilizer factories. Thus, there were surpluses and food supplies could match the demand (Timmer, 2010). However, by 1972, a widespread drought and bad weather reduced food production in East Asia and other countries around the world, therefore, there was a scramble for food supplies (Ibid). This problem was aggravated by the financial situation and unfavourable policies met out by the US and Russia thus, making the prices of food to sky-rocket. It is interesting to note that oil prices did not cause the increase in commodity prices in 1972/73 but the food prices triggered an up rise in oil prices nevertheless, as the oil prices rose, fertilizer prices and other input prices for agricultural commodity production also increased (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). By 1974, the food prices were tremendously high, Figure 1, and can be said to be even higher than the peak reached in 2008 (von Braun, 2008). In the 1980’s as the oil prices reduced and economic situation of exporting countries began to grow, the food prices subsequently reduced and this trend continued into the 1990’s and the new millennium, 2000. The first couple of years after 2000 were characterised with low prices, but as world population began to rise in leaps and bounds, demand began to pressurise world food supplies thus prices started rising. It was then aggravated by harvests becoming shortened due to bad weather and disease problems. Importing countries for example the Philippines began scrambling for supplies because of the outlook on availability of stocks. This started to create tension and threaten major commodity exporters in the world market (Timmer, 2010). Asian countries including India, Indonesia and Vietnam panicked at this threatening situation and began shortening exports, building up stocks and hoarding grains in general. This situation was then coupled with the rapid rising prices of oil in 2007, bio-fuel production from food crops and capped by the financial meltdown in 2008 (ODI, 2008, von Braun, 2008 and Timmer, 2010). Consequently, agricommodity prices were triggered and rose enormously (Ibid). Dairy products rose first followed by cereals and oil seeds prices (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). In 2007, the Food Price Index calculated by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) showed a rise by about 40 percent compared with 9 percent the year before and in 2008, the prices were drastically high (von Braun, 2008). With Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 1

wheat export prices increasing by 130 percent, rice by 98 percent and maize by 38 percent above 2007 figures (ADB, 2008)

Figure 1: Trend in Global Commodity prices from 1957 - 2007 Source: Piesse and Thirtle, 2009 These prices have been fluctuating since the 2008 peaks and even up till now, 2011, the Food Price Index is still around its 2008 peak (World Bank, 2011). Globally, key staples have remained significantly higher than their prices at this point last year including; maize with a 74 percent increase, wheat (69 percent), soybeans (36 percent) and sugar (21 percent) above 2010 figures (depicted in Figure 2) (Ibid). Domestically, some country experiences include grain rises in Kyrgyz Republic where wheat prices increased by 63 percent and in Bangladesh it increased by 36 percent in 2011 (World Bank, 2011). Sudan was also highly affected as it experienced 87 percent increase in wheat prices in a space of 3 months thereby impacting on its food security status (Ibid). In the US, wheat prices were 82 percent higher than 2010 figures but 24 percent lower than the peak in 2008 (FAO, 2011). Agro-food commodity prices have remained volatile and susceptible to macro economic factors that have occurred within the course of the year including the crisis in the Middle East which affects oil prices and the natural disasters in Japan (FAO, 2011).

Figure 2: Global Commodity Price Indices Source: World Bank, 2011 These high prices pose risks to food security and sustainability especially for the world’s poor as their ability to purchase food is undermined; low income countries who import most of their food stuff are destabilized; and aid agencies that support by budgeting for those who need food become weakened (ODI, 2008). Soaring prices are triggered by a series of factors and they also threaten gains that could be made by countries that are capable and developed, therefore this highlights the need for investment in production technology and management policies of agro-food supply for both developed and developing countries. A brief review of the factors that influence the prices Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 2

followed by the risks it poses to food security in developed and developing countries will be discussed. Then actions to control soaring food prices and recommendations will be highlighted. 2. Factors that Influence Agricultural Commodity Prices Volatility in agro-food commodity markets is caused by a series of factors which could be cyclical or structural in nature (ADB, 2008). Cyclical factors are short term while structural factors are medium to long term causes and influence a continuous rise in prices however, some of the factors overlap (ADB, 2008 and Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). These factors affect the nature of demand and supply thereby causing fluctuations in the prices. Highlighted below is a brief encapsulation of the factors. 2.1 Cyclical Factors Low stock to utilization ratio is a key variable in price changes; when stocks are low, there would be upward volatility in prices (Timmer, 2010). The Food Price Index is inversely proportional to the stock-to-use ratio this means when prices are high stock-to-use will be low. 2008 is a classic case because stocks were very low and prices shot through the roof (ODI, 2008). Stock depletion is as a result of demand exceeding supply which can be caused by population increase; rising income; poor harvests; and deliberate policies made by government to reduce supply and stocks e.g. export bans (von Braun, 2008, Piesse and Thirtle, 2009, and Zhang et al., 2010). Declining stocks could cause speculations in prices rises. The panic that occurred in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam in 2008 is as a result of speculations of low stocks that made them restrict exports and ‘hoard’ grains thereby constricting supply. This created a multiplier effect causing other countries to be affected and the speculation eventually became a reality. Adverse weather conditions including typhoons, drought, and floods can trigger poor harvests hence creating a depression in stocks which affects supplies (von Braun, 2008 and ODI, 2008). For instance, in 2006, world wheat production reduced by about 60 percent because of drought in Australia (ADB, 2008). Europe, Russia, Canada and Ukraine also had poor harvests in 2007 due to the poor weather. However, Piesse and Thirtle (2009), argue that adverse weather conditions in some countries is not enough to create massive spikes in prices as there are other countries that can produce enough to offset the demand. This stance was backed up by their observation that in 2007, while the countries listed above experienced poor production, there was actually an increase in production of grains (apart from wheat) from Argentina, Kazakhstan and the US in that same year (Ibid). Depreciation of the United Stated Dollar (USD) is another cause because it is the base currency used in international trading. As the dollar declines against other major currencies, exports become more expensive especially for grains and oil seeds (ADB, 2008). This is majorly a macroeconomic effect. From 2002 to 2008, the dollar fell by 40 percent against the Euro and food prices happened to rise by 140 percent (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). Speculations increase as the dollar fell and it attributed to the soaring prices. 2.2 Structural Factors Rising energy prices pose a huge threat to agro-food prices because they are linked to the production input costs like fertilizer, fuel and power (von Braun, 2008). Domestic energy prices have increased by 20 – 50 percent causing fertilizer, irrigation and transport costs to also increase by 30 – 50 percent (World Bank, 2011). For example, maize prices in western Guatemala have increased more than in other parts of the country due to higher transportation costs (Ibid). Higher crude oil prices make bio-fuel a better alternative hence farmers are willing to embark on bio-fuel feed stock production which seems as a more profitable deal. In the US, subsidies are given to farmers to grow corn for the production of ethanol which is used for bio-fuel production rather than food or feed (ADB, 2008). And in 2010/2011, 40 percent of corn production in the US was used for bio-fuel production. Thus tightening food supplies and contributing to rising prices (World Bank, Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 3

2011). However, according to Zhang et al., (2010), after performing a research on the impact of bio-fuels on global agro commodity prices stated that there is no long term relationship between fuel and agricultural commodity prices and limited if there is any direct short term relationship; but they are affected by the multiplier effect of a series of short termed and long termed shocks to supply and demand (Ibid). Nevertheless, according to Timmer (2010) and supported by Piesse and Thritle (2009), agricultural input costs are linked to volatility in fuel prices, therefore agricultural commodity prices will continue to be volatile. Figure 3 shows the relationship and trend in prices for input costs and agriculture from 2000 to 2008 when the great price spike occurred.

Figure 3: Relationship between input costs and agriculture Source: Piesse and Thirtle, 2009 Urbanisation and Industrialization causes land and water resources to be channelled into other uses thus, threatening agricultural production then supplies become tighter and prices rise (ADB, 2008). Indonesia and India are growing economies which are faced with this challenge in the future. Reduction in capital invested especially in agricultural research and development slows down the potential of the industry and causes low food grain productivity. Pest resistant varieties, drought tolerant species of crops, irrigation technology and fertilizer production have been constrained by poor investments thereby limiting the sector’s prospects; patents have also reduced in agriculture (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). This indirectly affects the yield potential of crops which creates pressure on existing produce that is limited for the teeming population (ADB, 2008). Policy inadequacies can undermine agricultural production and cause shortages (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). Imports make the dependants vulnerable to price changes and it could also harm domestic production by making them totally reliant on imports. Input subsidies could cause a misuse of land and other natural resources thus limiting domestic supplies and this affects the price as well (Timmer, 2010). Export bans can also create shortages in the global market which will translate into lower supplies and higher prices. Climate change and global warming are seen as potential long term threats to the agricultural industry especially on the supply side thus, it can also have a ripple effect on prices (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). These factors are known to have caused and affected the nature of commodity prices and have posed severe risks to food security, making food to become a scarce, expensive resource that is needed vitally for general wellbeing in different parts of the globe. 3. The Impact of Rising Prices on Food Security and Sustainability Food security refers to a situation when people have access to nutritious food in sufficient quantities at all times for an active healthy life (POST, 2006 and Johnson, 2009). It drives on four principles; quality, utilization, accessibility and availability (Ibid). That is to say for food security to be a reality, the four factors must be met adequately thus, if there is a challenge to any of the principles, food security becomes at risk (Stanley et al., 2008). Soaring prices pose a threat to Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 4

each of the components and a discussion of the impact and relationship follows with classic examples from affected countries. Developed and developing countries are affected in different degrees by high food prices thus impacting on the level of food security. Globally, as a result of the recent food price increases, poverty has become prominent especially among the world’s poor (mostly in developing countries) (World Bank, 2011). As the Food Price Index rises, the number of people falling below the poverty line also increases. In 2011, due to the rise in Food price Index, an estimated 44 million people became poorer (Ibid). Poverty causes malnutrition, undernourishment, disease vulnerability, illiteracy, hunger, protests, violence and death. Hence, food security is essential to economic development as it drives productivity, growth and national stability (Timmer, 2010). 3.1 Soaring Prices and the Impact on Food Quality The quality or nutritional value of food is highly important for people to achieve mental stability and physical development (POST, 2006). It is estimated that one third of the world’s people do not reach their physical and intellectual potential due to micronutrient deficiencies caused by food insecurity (Ibid). Thus, adequate nutrition which requires sufficient calorie or energy intake is essential to achieve productivity individually and as a country. Rising prices of food commodities affect the poor directly and impacts on their consumption patterns and dietary structure (ODI, 2008 and ACPWP, 2008). It limits their ability to eat healthy foods as they seek for cheaper options and focus more on quantity and not quality (von Braun, 2008). The shift to less-balanced diets will have harmful effects in the short and long run. These changes in consumption patterns brought about by higher food prices means deficiency disorders become common in the society (Cohen and Garrett, 2009). This is because the nutrients gained from taking a varied diet including meat, vegetables and dairy becomes sidelined and more of staple foods are consumed instead (ACPWP, 2008). Staple foods are made up of inelastic commodities including wheat, rice and maize thus as the price increases, it will still be demanded. In developing countries, where the average income is about $1 per day, the poor are at risk of diseases, malnutrition including stunted growth and being underweight, and child mortality (Johnson, 2009). For example, in Sierra Leone, with the global and domestic rise in prices, the purchasing power of the people declined and malnutrition worsened (Stanley et al., 2008). Chronic malnutrition became prevalent in 34 percent of the children under five years of age and there is also high mortality (Ibid). Also, about four million people in the country had to change their consumption patterns because they could not afford enough food due to high prices in 2008. In developed countries for example, the US, obesity and being overweight are the major challenges that occurs especially when people eat cheaper unhealthy foods in a bid to avoid expensive nutritious diets (Johnson, 2009). Figure 4 gives a graphical representation of the effect higher prices could have on the number of people becoming undernourished. From 2007 when prices began to rise drastically, the number of undernourished people skyrocketed from about 850 million people to about 920 million people (in 2008) within a space of one year (SOFI, 2010). In 2009, it rose to 1 billion people. This is testament to the fact that high prices affect food security.

Figure 4: Number of undernourished people in the world from 1969 – 2010 Source: SOFI, 2010

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3.2 Soaring Prices and the Impact on Food Utilization Food is essential for health and wellness, the ability to utilize consumed food is also an essential component of food security (POST, 2006). Health is influenced by the access to safe food and clean drinking water and this can be affected by a series of factors including sanitation, access to energy and illiteracy (Fengying et al., 2010). The sanitation of how food is prepared, processed and preserved is affected by different members along the food chain. Poor sanitation contributes to malnutrition and increases illness. For example in Ethiopia and Sudan, access to potable water is a challenge thus impacting negatively on cropping, health and food security (FAO, 2011). Illiteracy levels can also be seen as a factor that affects the quality standards of produced foods thus, education is vital so that farmers and other members of the chain can produce food hygienically in an efficient and effective way. Moreover, education will present an opportunity for high incomes to be earned and this improves the situation of food security (Ibid). High prices in commodity markets undermines the concerns in producing safe foods especially when fuel costs are also high and energy required to improve and maintain the quality of food diminishes thus, there is wastage and food insecurity becomes prominent. Soaring prices pose a risk to food security because the food supply chains will be prone to contamination due to weak standards and poor enforcement of regulations especially in developing countries (Johnson, 2009). For example in China, the melamine-contamination in milk created risks about food safety and in Europe, avian influenza alerted food safety issues (Ibid). These issues affect the health and wellness of the consumer in relation to the diet and so preventing diseases, which impacts on food utility, a principal component of food security is a critical matter (Fengying et al., 2010). 3.3 Soaring Prices and the Impact on Food Accessibility The stability of access to food physically, economically and socially is a pillar of food security which can be threatened by rise in food prices (POST, 2006). Food accessibility is made possible by available markets, economic situation, roads and infrastructure and effective supply chain systems (POST, 2006 and Stanley et al., 2008). Sufficient food at the national level does not necessarily mean that a country is food secure because there may be some people who are constrained in reaching food due to a lack of one of the factors listed above. For example in Asia, most countries are net exporters of grains yet, very high numbers of food insecure people are recorded there. Access to markets is essential for food security and the purchasing power and transportation costs often determine how vulnerable people could be to being food insecure. In Sub Saharan Africa, food production occurs mainly in the rural areas and with 13 percent of roads tarred, getting the products to markets is an uphill task (POST, 2006). Low per capita income, poor infrastructure and lack of adequate post harvest technology further pressurises access to food. Thus, these create inefficiencies in food distribution and long lead time gaps in the supply chain which often cause food deterioration and degradation. For example, in Jordan, due to inefficient infrastructure, there are high transaction costs which could have been reduced by 50 percent if investments to modernise infrastructure and management were made (World Bank, 2011). High agri-commodity prices in most developing countries for example will make going to the market a daunting task especially if the market is far and coupled with high transportation costs and low income, attaining food security becomes a huge challenge especially for the poor (Cohen and Garrett, 2009). In developed countries it’s a different ball game for example in the UK, food accessibility is threatened by lack of information, lack of healthy preferences, finance and physical ability (White et al., 2010). 3.4 Soaring Prices and the Impact on Food Availability The total food production and per capita food output signifies how much food is available for consumption and trade within an area or the borders of a nation (POST, 2006 and Fengying et al., 2010). Food production is determined by viable input resources and man power without which it becomes unproductive. For example in Sub Saharan Africa, food production has barely been able to keep up with the pace of population growth thus imports of up to 25 percent have to be made to make food available for the populace (POST, 2006). This is as a result of poor soil fertility, Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 6

dependence on rain fed agriculture, subsistence farming, poor infrastructure, lack of functioning market places and low crop yield (Ibid). Food availability becomes an issue in these parts because infrastructure that links producers to the population is also inadequate. With high input costs, agricultural commodity production becomes tough and unattractive thereby discouraging farmers and the people who then seek for other profitable means to earn a living. Hence, due to lower productivity, food sources become scare and the aftermath is a tighter supply and stronger higher prices (Stanley et al., 2008). In most developing countries, this encourages hoarding among traders and the middle class who have considerable purchasing power often stock up their supplies so as to have food at their disposal (Timmer, 2010). The poor are left to survive by adopting coping strategies which include; skipping meals or bearing the pangs of hunger for days (Cohen and Garrett, 2009). For example in Niger, poor households go to bed hungry or have one meal a day because they cannot afford food stuffs due to unbearable high prices (Ibid). The most vulnerable are poor female headed households who suffer a large proportional drop in welfare than the poor male-headed households because they have less to spend on food (Ibid). Some of these females engage in transactional sex so as to have some money to buy food (POST, 2006). In developing countries, inventory management systems are ineffective thus data collection which takes into account data of available food in domestic storage is often unavailable. Therefore, there isn’t any information with certainty on how much food is available for the country (Stanley et al., 2008). This creates a volatile system because any shock can threaten the food security status and well being of the people. On the other hand, higher agro-commodity prices raise farmers’ incomes if the global price movements transmit to the local markets and provided the farmers can respond promptly with available produce (ODI, 2008). This is often experienced by exporting low income countries and developed countries that trade in the global market (Ibid). The farmers view the high prices as an incentive and are motivated to improve production and make huge margins (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). For example in Malawi, when maize prices increased, the country experienced gains of about 75 percent because of exports and the value of domestic maize increased (ODI, 2008). This trade could be limited by domestic policies, prices and transportation costs. Low income countries that depend on imports face inflation pressures as prices in the country can fluctuate easily based on the external market environment. The sudden rise in prices could lead to protests, violence and social unrest (Cohen and Garrett, 2009). For example in 2011, almost 33 countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Senegal and Yemen were reported to have had food related riots because of the unacceptable high prices (World Bank, 2011). Food riots have also occurred in developed countries for example in Italy people protested against the rise in pasta prices (Cohen and Garrett, 2009).

3.5 Soaring Prices and the Impact on Sustainability Sustainability refers to meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Khanna et al., 2009). Certain criteria have to be met in order to achieve sustainability or sustainable development and include; protection of the diversity of plants, animals and land; avoiding damages to natural resources; and contributing to climate change (Khanna et al., 2009 and Johnson, 2009). Producing sustainable food requires that it is processed and traded in ways that contribute to the economic and social welfare of the environment (FAO, 2008). Thus, over exploitation of valuable resources and pollution generation should be avoided (Khanna et al., 2009). The current volatility in food prices has posed a threat to the way food is produced and traded (FAO, 2008). Based on the teeming population, urbanisation and rising incomes, farmers and food producers are pressured to grow and manufacture food in ways that are quick and profitable but it may be unsustainable in the future. The high prices could trigger their motivation hence they use up more land and water for food production. Then the use of high levels of inorganic fertilizers and poor soil management threatens land sustainability Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 7

(Johnson, 2009). In developed countries like the UK, fertilizer run-off is a challenge and often contaminates water resources. While in developing countries, most especially in Africa, bush burning, which seems like an inexpensive way of land clearing before planting is a normal practice which depletes and degrades the land’s nutrients. Also, wastes generated by feed and food discards causes pollution and poses great risks to land sustainability (Johnson, 2009). As agriculture accounts for approximately 70 percent of all fresh water used, the cautious management of water is paramount. From irrigation practices to industrial and consumer use, water is to be used wisely because it plays a key role in the move to food sustainability. Therefore, to satisfy the needs related to food production, water sustainability is crucial. Bad irrigation practices like flood irrigation, mismanages water resources that are limited (FAO, 2008). 4. Managing Volatility of Agricultural Commodity Prices There are series of recommendations or policy actions that can be undertaken by a developed or developing country so as to respond to the crisis or alleviate challenges caused by high, volatile agro-commodity prices so as to be less vulnerable to food insecurity. These actions could be channelled to solve short term or long term factors that influence the price spikes.  Trade policy management; imports and export polices should be effectively monitored and regulated to avoid a situation where the policy harms the country and backfires. For countries not to transfer the high prices of food from the international market to the domestic market, setting limits on imports and exports is a viable option. For example, India, Russia, Australia, China and Ethiopia banned food exports to set a limit on their prices (von Braun, 2008 and Piesse and Thirtle, 2009). Countries that have reduced import taxes include Morocco and Nigeria, they have reduced import taxes on wheat and rice grains respectively (Ibid). However, import tariffs and subsidies can reduce the productivity of the indigenous farmer, create waste by not using the resources available and can convert the country from being a potentially self sufficient one to an import dependent country (Timmer, 2010). An example can be seen from Haiti, the country was attaining self sufficiency in rice production until cheap rice imports from the United States started flooding the market. This damaged the rice production potential of the country as farmers could not compete with the cheaper prices thus the country became totally dependent on imports (Cohen and Garrett, 2009).  Domestic social protection programmes should be expanded or created to assist the poor in both rural and urban areas of a country. This program will aid in meeting the new and emerging needs of the agricultural sector of the country’s economy (Timmer, 2010). It will also serve as catalyst in stimulating the domestic agriculture (von Braun, 2008).  Developed countries could seek for alternative methods to produce bio-fuels.  Developed countries could also work towards eliminating trace barriers so that developing and lower income countries can gain access to their markets and benefit from them (Piesse and Thirtle, 2009).  Investments in agricultural infrastructure, research and development in developed and developing countries would aid domestic production and limit erratic food prices especially in developing countries (Timmer 2010).  Schemes to raise income either through public service or injecting funds into the private sector will improve the standard of living and rising income will compensate for food costs (von Braun, 2008).  Compensatory financing or finance aids to respond to food price spikes especially in developing countries could be injected (ODI, 2008). Financial aids are useful however; they do not guarantee a way out of poverty (POST, 2006). There could be other unforeseen circumstances that hamper the transfer of such funds e.g. global financial crisis that affected businesses and financial institutions (The Economist, 2011).  Biotechnology could also be harnessed in producing seeds that would boost the output production of food commodities including grains and oil seeds (ODI, 2008).  Financial insurance, hedging solutions (price protection, futures, options) and risk management strategies. In developing countries, farmers, agro-enterprises, and governments can employ a Olajuyigbe V. Ibukunoluwa, 2011 Page 8

range of technical, managerial, and financial approaches to mitigate, transfer, and cope with risks (Johnson, 2009 and World Bank, 2011). References ACPWP (Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products). 2008. Soaring Prices and Food Security [Online]. Food and Agriculture Organisation. Available from: [Accessed 11 May 2011] ADB (Asian Development Bank). 2008. Soaring Food Prices; Response to the crisis [On-line]. Asian Development Bank. Available from: [Accessed 9 May 2011] Cohen, M. J. and Garrett, J. L. 2009. The food price crisis and urban food (in) security [On-line]. International Institute for Environment and Development. Available from: [Accessed 9 May 2011] FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation). 2008. Food Sustainability: A guide to private sector action [On-line]. Food and Agriculture Organisation. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2011] FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation). 2011. Crop Prospects and Food Situation [On-line]. Food and Agriculture Organisation. Available from: [Accessed 11 May 2011] FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation). 2011. Global Food Price Monitor [On-line]. Food and Agriculture Organisation. Available from: [Accessed 11 May 2011] Fengying, N., Jieying, B. and Xuebiao, Z. 2010. Study on China's Food Security Status. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia (International Conference on Agricultural Risk and Food Security 2010). Pp. 301-310, [On-line]. Science Direct. Available from: [Accessed 10 May 2011] Johnson, R. 2009. Food Security: The role of agricultural trade [On-line]. International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2011] Khanna, M., Hochman, G., Rajagopal, D., Sexton, S. and Zilberman, D. 2009. Sustainability of food, energy and environment with bio-fuels. CAB reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary science, Nutrition and Natural resources, 4(28), pp. 1-10. [On-line]. CAB International. Available from: [Accessed 11 May 2011] ODI (Overseas Development Institute). 2008. Rising Food Prices; A global crisis [On-line]. Overseas Development Institute. Available from: [Accessed 9 May 2011] Piesse, J. and Thirtle, C. 2009. Three bubbles and a panic: An explanatory review of recent food commodity price events. Food Policy, 34(2), pp. 119-129. [On-line]. Science Direct. Available from: [Accessed 11 May 2011] POST (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology). 2006. Food Security in Developing Counties [On-line]. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. Available from: [Accessed 8 May 2011] SOFI (State of Food Insecurity in the World). 2010. Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises: Undernourishment around the world [On-line]. Food and Agriculture Organisation. Available from: [Accessed 11 May 2011]

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