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Topic: Food Prices

What's the impact of food price volatility on labour supply and economic growth?

by Mr. Julian Hochscherf

Dear members of the forum,

I am doing a PhD on the insurability of weather-induced food price shocks in Sub-Saharan Africa using index-based microinsurances. I am keen to discover consequences resulting from food price volatility for the effective labour supply. In addition, I would like to analyze whether this labor supply decision can be an explanation for low economic growth in countries showing relatively higher food price volatility.

The first step of the project will be to find empirical evidence that there is indeed a reaction concerning effective labor supply in the face of volatile food prices. A second step would be to discover price patterns between adverse weather events and food prices and to determine the effects for insurance indexes. As I stand at the beginning of that project, I would be glad to receive many propositions, feedbacks of and contacts to more experienced practitioners or researchers etc.

Julian Hochscherf

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This publication sheds light on the impacts of meat and dairy production, and aims to catalyse the debate over the need for better, safer and more sustainable food and farming.

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Policy brief: Improving wheat trade policy administration to benefit both consumers and producers in the United Republic of Tanzania

Import tariffs and costly import procedures may explain why consumers in the United Republic of Tanzania pay relatively high prices for wheat. Although wheat farmers benefit from higher prices, domestic production has not increased. Indeed, since 2000 domestic wheat production has been able to cover only about 20 per cent of the country’s consumption requirements.

 Findings from a recent study conducted by the Monitoring African Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) project suggest that:

  • - simplifying procedures for importing wheat and reducing overall import costs would make wheat more affordable for consumers;
  • - monitoring re-exports of wheat flour to neighbouring countries would help ensure that lower import tariffs for wheat actually lead to lower domestic prices; and
  • - supporting efforts to develop wheat varieties adapted to local agro-ecological and climatic conditions, and expanding related extension services, are crucial for increasing wheat production.

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Indonesia’s Modern Food Retail Sector: Interaction With Changing Food Consumption and Trade Patterns

Indonesia’s food market has changed in response to a changing and growing economy. The report examines changes in the food consumption pattern and measures the growth of modern food retail chains, packaged food purchases, and food imports in the world’s fourth-most-populous country. The evidence suggests that Indonesians are moving toward modern global purchasing and consumption patterns, but more slowly than in some comparable countries. Barriers to foreign and domestic commerce, affecting the development of modern food retail supply chains, are important constraints on food market change in Indonesia. Further change in Indonesia’s retail food sector will help determine future growth in imports, including from the United States.