Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Call for submissions
Open until:

Use and application of CFS policy recommendations on price volatility and food security, and social protection for food security and nutrition

A stocktaking event is planned to be held in October 2023 during CFS 51 Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to monitor the use and application of the following CFS policy recommendations:

Set 1:     Price Volatility and Food Security (endorsed in 2011, CFS 37)

Set 2:    Social Protection for Food Security & Nutrition  (endorsed in 2012, CFS 39)

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) invites stakeholders to share their experiences and good practices in applying any of these two sets of policy recommendations by 3 May 2023 to inform the monitoring event at CFS 51 Plenary.

The CFS and its High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE-FSN), developed policy recommendations addressing price volatility and social protection issues for food security and nutrition in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Set 1 of the CFS policy recommendations on Price Volatility and Food Security stem from the first report produced by the CFS HLPE-FSN . In October 2010, the Committee requested the HLPE to produce the abovementioned report focusing on food price volatility and “all of its causes and consequences […] to manage the risks linked to excessive price volatility in agriculture[1]”. The resulting policy recommendations negotiated and then adopted by the CFS in 2011 highlight a series of action points that appropriate stakeholders should consider to address the structural causes of food price volatility and ensure that its impact do not undermine producers and consumers’ right to food: actions to increase food production and availability, and to enhance resilience to shocks; to reduce volatility; to mitigate the negative impacts of volatility.

Set 2 of the CFS policy recommendations on Social Protection for Food Security & Nutrition  stem from a HLPE-FSN report #4. Also in October 2010, the CFS requested the HLPE to produce report #4 focusing on social protection and more specifically, “on ways to lessen vulnerability through social and productive safety net programs and policies with respect to food and nutritional security, taking into consideration differing conditions across countries and regions[1]. The resulting policy recommendations negotiated and then adopted by the CFS in 2012 highlight a series of action points addressed to Member States and relevant stakeholders: to design and implement, or strengthen, comprehensive, nationally-owned, context-sensitive social protection systems for food security and nutrition; to ensure that social protection systems embrace a strategy that maximize impact on resilience and food security and nutrition; to improve the use of social protection interventions to address vulnerability to acute and chronic food insecurity. These policy recommendations also underline the importance of social protection programmes for food security and nutrition being guided by human rights standards to support the progressive realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the context of National Food Security.

The event scheduled to take place during CFS51 Plenary in October 2023 will focus on how stakeholders have used or applied any of these two sets of CFS policy recommendations, which actions have been implemented – or are planned - and which remain relevant in the current context to ensure food security and nutrition for all.

How to take part in this Call for Submissions

To inform this stocktaking exercise on the use and application of the aforementioned two sets of policy recommendations.  The CFS invites you to share your experience(s) using the following templates for each contribution as relevant:

  1. The Form for reporting “individual” experiences in applying the two sets of policy recommendations by one group of stakeholders (e.g. a member state, civil society, or the private sector);
  2. The Form (namely for event organizers) to share the results of multi-stakeholder events organized at national, regional and global levels to discuss experiences and good practices in applying the two sets of policy recommendations.

Note that you are invited to complete, as relevant, any of the two forms most appropriate to your experience, and/or to submit multiple (of the relevant) forms, respectively, in case you have had multiple experiences. Submissions can be made in any of the UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Submissions should be strictly limited to 1,000 Words.


CFS has consistently encouraged stakeholders to voluntarily share their experiences and good practices in applying CFS policy products through reporting individual (direct) experiences by one group of stakeholders or through reporting the results of multi-stakeholder consultations or events (organized to discuss experiences) by several groups of stakeholders.

Note: Guidance to hold multistakeholder consultations at national, regional and global levels is provided in the Terms of Reference to share experiences and good practices in applying CFS decisions and recommendations through organising events at national, regional and global levels, approved by CFS in 2016.

The recommended approach by CFS to organize multistakeholder consultations promotes country-owned and country-led events organized in collaboration and partnership with existing coordination mechanisms and initiatives. National actors should play an active role in the organization of such events at all levels, with possible support from the Rome-based UN Agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO, International Fund for Agricultural Development – IFAD, and World Food Programme - WFP) or other stakeholders.

In identifying and documenting good practices, please consider the values promoted by CFS, as applicable: 

  • Inclusiveness and participation:  all relevant actors were involved and participated in the decision-making process, including those affected by the decisions;
  • Evidence-based analysis: the effectiveness of the practice in contributing to the objectives of the policy recommendations  was analyzed on the basis of independent evidence;
  • Environmental, economic and social sustainability: the practice contributed to achieving its objectives, without compromising the ability of addressing future needs;
  • Gender equality: the practice promoted equal rights and participation of women and men and addressed gender inequalities;
  • Focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized people and groups: the practice benefitted the most vulnerable and marginalized people and groups;
  • Multi-sectoral approach: all main relevant sectors were consulted and involved in the implementation of the set(s) of the policy recommendations;
  • Resilience of livelihoods: the practice contributed to building resilient livelihoods of households and communities to shocks and crises, including those related to climate change.

The comments received will contribute to monitoring progress on the use and application of the two sets of CFS policy recommendations. All inputs will be compiled in a document made available for delegates at CFS 51 in October 2023.

The Call for Submissions is open until 3rd of May 2023.

The Committee on World Food Security
The vision of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is to be the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for a broad range of committed stakeholders to work together in a coordinated manner in support of country-led processes towards ensuring food security and nutrition for all. CFS strives for a world free from hunger where countries implement the policy recommendations on Price Volatility and Food Security, and on Social Protection for Food Security & Nutrition to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food.

[1] CFS 36: Final Report

* Click on the name to read all comments posted by the member and contact him/her directly
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Submission of Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation on the Use and application of CFS Policy

African food crises are exacerbated by climate change, violence, and inefficient farming. According to FAO and African Union statistics, the food crisis affects 346 million Africans (AU).

As world hunger and malnutrition have increased, progress has halted and ultimately regressed. Food insecurity needs immediate humanitarian aid to prevent mass starvation and worldwide disaster. Other long-term solutions include:

  •  Using agricultural technologies: Agricultural innovations can help farmers produce crops more effectively, minimize waste, satisfy rising food demand, and adjust to climate change. Small-scale producers need these technologies to be productive, lucrative, and sustainable.
  • Helping governments scale up social protection can reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable.
  • Developing climate resilience: Disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation can help communities cope with harsh weather and recover faster from shock.

Many sectors and stakeholders are needed to combat poverty and malnutrition. Sustaining and improving nutrition requires a multisector, and multi-partner strategy at multiple levels, from individuals to households to communities to policy. 

Female and male genders have different nutritional needs. When compared to men, women have a higher risk of malnutrition due to their increased dietary needs, especially during pregnancy and lactation. Women also traditionally dine last in many societies; female members of the household should be allowed to eat healthier meals. Future generations are at risk when women experience malnutrition because it is passed on to their children, either directly (malnourished women are more likely to give birth to smaller and lighter babies) or indirectly (because they lack the knowledge, time, financial resources, or decision-making power to care well for their children). Thus, it is essential that gender differences be taken into consideration whenever crafting new initiatives for social security.  

We can assist everyone get healthy meals through a multisector approach and the ability to satisfy food security, nutrition, vital requirements, risks, and shocks.


Dr. Pradip Dey

ICAR-AICRP (STCR), Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal

Dear FSN Team,

Good afternoon!

The following measures are suggested to ensure food security and sustainability:

  • Interconnected policy-making through enabling decisions related to sustainable food system together with agriculture and its products marketing, labour laws, land holding, rural development etc. is essential.
  • Using vulnerability map for different agro-ecological zones to create polygons in GIS and use the same to predict food security as well as systems need to be followed in long run for food sustainability.
  • Use of IoT and AI to analyse strategic information related to cultivation practices such as varietal characters, fertigation schedule, pest control methods, irrigation schedule, mechanization, planting and harvesting schedule, inter-cropping, crop rotation, etc. for optimum and sustainable crop production.

With warm regards,

Pradip Dey

Dr. Pradip Dey

ICAR-AICRP (STCR), Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal

Dear FSN Team,

Good morning!

Demand and supply of agricultural commodity, in general, are not very responsive to price changes, price volatility is strong in short run. The geopolitical and climatological unpredictability adds to significant price volatility. The following measures are suggested to reduce price volatility:

  • Crop diversification can be used as a step to reduce price volatility.
  • Investment in R&D, extension and capacity building helps in addressing price volatility. Investments in agriculture is also important. However, investments, whether foreign or domestic, private or public, must consider varying local circumstances and proceed with extra caution in ecologically sensitive or biodiverse areas. Something which of course can be done by genuinely involving agro-ecological experts and local populations with traditional/local knowledge about their surroundings – which of course is just one of many rationales for promoting participation and consultation.
  • Use of ICT for analysing information on past trends regarding area, production, productivity, consumption, utilization, pest attack, climatic conditions, environmental concerns, fertigation, etc are of immense use in making decision in crop production. For example, past trends in climatic conditions may help growers in scheduling cultivation activities for optimum production and control of stresses. Such measures also help in addressing price volatility.
  • Introduction of effective price insurance measures also help in managing price volatility.

With warm regards,

Pradip Dey

Prof. Ahmad Mahdavi

University of Tehran/ and Sustainable agriculture and environment.
Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Now in Iran in March 2023 as we are getting close to our Iranian new year 1402 about %80 percent of people are now experiencing hardship for food prices, food prices increade more than 2-3 fold in recent months and there are no hope for stop this increase.

mPrice Volatility issues:
This is really a important issue particularly in developing countries
where accessible food in sufficient quantity and quality is very
difficult. This cyclical challenge is mainly arise from my own
observation due to misaligned/misguided/injected policies from the
above (i.e. policy makers) without tailoring to the context of a
specific country in question. In addition to that implementing even a
little logical policies as per their direction  is cumbersome due to
bad governance and fragile political systems. It is also repeatedly
echoed that establishing modern market information system (for
instance avoiding of  price information asymmetry), increasing food
production, developing logistics and infrastructure facilities could
reduce price volatility, However, the major challenge in this regard
is lack of systematic instruments to unnecessary transaction costs
linked to trading malpractices of brokers and traders.very often,
these actors also use fraudulent pressure to break the effectiveness
of smooth of food and other durable goods marketing which finally
aggravates the already  spike prices .Therefore, there is a need to
establish a robust system that could make both market actors that are
favored by market distortions and controlling bodies/government
agencies to be accountable and transparent. In this part, NGOs which
are experienced in the issues should render technical support.
Many authors argue that market information system supported with
high-tech and artificial intelligence would make a sensible result.
But, I feel that this might partially work for developing countries
where digital technologies literacy level or awareness is  low and
wide digtal divide among urban and rural within the same developing
The other that should be taken into consideration is the customers
buying behavior or responses to traders/brokers speculation.
basically, sense of scarcity is common among customers in developing.
countries particularly even in the case of temporal food supply
disruption/s. Consequently, the consumers are very often fell off with
the traders/brokers marketing deceiving techniques
which in effect influence the buyers/customers negatively. Therefore,
there is a need to make aware of the benefits of collective marketing
by which consumers collectively or in group could buy the items they
need from sources of product which essentially break the unnecessary
long market chain. The other thing is detaching price volatility from
using as political machinery particularly in fragile states. In this
part, NGOs could play their part.

Mr. Julio Prudencio

Investigador independiente afiliado a la Fundación TIERRA y al Instituto de Investigaciones Socioeconómicas de la Universidad Católica de Bolivia
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)



. Fomento a Programas de Desarrollo basado en las Exportaciones. A través de diversos apoyos y políticas públicas (créditos, disminución de impuestos, no cobro de aranceles, subsidios a la energía, entre otros) lo que desincentiva la producción interna de alimentos básicos. Al obtener más ganancias mediante los productos de exportación, se generan una serie de consecuencias, resaltando entre ellas, el desplazamiento de cultivos alimenticios básicos por los de exportación.

. La especulación y ocultamiento de alimentos básicos de consumo humano y materias primas para alimentos para ganado; con el propósito de crear desabastecimientos artificiales e incrementar el precio de venta de los productos.

. El incremento de los precios internacionales de los productos básicos (por ejemplo, el trigo y maíz por la guerra de Ucrania-Rusia) genera un redireccionamiento de los productos hacia el mercado externo antes que el abastecimiento del mercado interno por parte de los agroindustriales y empresas alimentarias.

. El cambio climático expresado en lluvias a destiempo, sequías, granizadas, inundaciones y otros, afecta a la producción de alimentos lo que incide en las pérdidas de la producción, afectando a los precios y a los ingresos económicos de las familias de los productores.

. El ingreso masivo y descontrolado de productos alimenticios, ya sea por la vía de las importaciones legales como sobre todo por el contrabando, afecta fuertemente a los precios internos de los productos, desincentivando su producción y diversificación.

Los alimentos importados y a bajo precio (sobre todo los “Alimentos Preparados” y de consumo rápido-fast food) generan una mayor demanda de éstos, lo que incide en una disminución de la demanda de los alimentos tradicionales (ricos en nutrientes y más sanos). Si a esto se suma la intensa difusión comercial de esos productos, hay un cambio en los hábitos alimentarios tradicionales de la población

. Los subsidios a los combustibles de los productos de exportación, afectan los costos de funcionamiento de la maquinaria agrícola (de los productos de exportación como la soya, sorgo, caña de azúcar, carnes) y los costos del transporte de esos productos a los puertos de exportación.

. La concentración de la producción de alimentos procesados en pocas empresas genera una producción oligopólica que determina los precios de venta de esos productos.


1. Reasignar/reorientar los subsidios de los productos de exportación (agrícolas, ganaderos, de producción de forrajes) hacia productos alimenticios con bajas emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero (GEI) y/o alto potencial nutricional.  Esa reorientación debe ser para incrementar el rendimiento productivo y la diversificación de los alimentos básicos tradicionales (sanos y más nutritivos, y fortalecen el medio ambiente).

2. Incentivar la producción interna de alimentos y la diversificación productiva en base a un enfoque agroecológico y de Agricultura de Conservación, que representa un enfoque agro sostenible.

3. Lo anterior significa modificar el modelo de desarrollo basado en las exportaciones, que por aumentar como sea las exportaciones, contaminan el medio ambiente, destruyen sistemas productivos que estuvieron vigentes desde hace cientos de años; deforestan, queman la Amazonía, no respetan el uso del suelo (plantaciones agrícolas en suelos forestales); alientan el uso intensivo e indiscriminado de agroquímicos; alientan a los OGM (soya) que causa daño a la salud humana y contamina a las semillas nativas de otros productos.

4. Precios justos para los productos básicos lo que significa que los precios cubran los costos de producción (incluyendo la reposición de la tierra, del agua y otros recursos) para generar ingresos a las familias de los productores.

5.Apoyar las tradiciones, prácticas y saberes culturales de los pueblos indígenas respecto a la producción, conservación, transformación y sobre todo respecto al cambio climático (CC), de manera coordinada con los servicios meteorológicos y las medidas de prevención y adaptabilidad al CC.

6. Acortar la cadena de intermediación comercial que incide en los precios de venta y en los ingresos de los productores mediante circuitos cortos de comercialización, información de precios de venta de los mercados; centros de acopio y conservación; mercados campesinos (venta directa productor-consumidor); apoyo de gobiernos municipales para el traslado de los productos a los mercados urbanos entre otros.

7. Evitar la producción privada oligopólica de alimentos que imponen precios indiscriminadamente, a través de políticas públicas y también mediante la creación de empresas públicas de apoyo a la producción y distribución; y/o creación de empresas público/privadas.

8. Comercio exterior. Exportaciones. Se debe priorizar el abastecimiento interno de alimentos ante las masivas exportaciones generadas por el alza de precios internacional (guerra Ucrania-Rusia) a través de medidas arancelarias. Una vez satisfecha la demanda interna y precavido reservas de alimentos ante posible variación del CC, recién exportar los excedentes alimenticios.

En importaciones, establecer políticas internas (aranceles, medidas fitosanitarias) para proteger la producción interna ante la competencia de productos externos (que muchas veces son subsidiados en sus países de origen).

Referente a los productos donados, éstos deben ser aceptados sólo en casos de emergencia (hambrunas, desastres naturales, guerras) y por tiempo limitado, apoyando paralelamente la producción interna de alimentos.

9. Regulación internacional para sancionar a los Estados que violan el Derecho Humano a la Alimentación de su población, cercando a poblaciones para que no accedan a los alimentos, al agua, a los medicamentos y servicios de salud.

Giorgia Paratore & Bahar Zorofi


Dear Stakeholders,

We kindly ask that your contribution(s) on the use of the CFS policy recommendations on Price Volatility and Social Protection be shared using the appropriate template, provided on the webpages of this Call for Submissions and available in six UN languages (AR, EN, ES, FR, RU, ZH). It will allow the CFS Secretariat to best facilitate the compilation and processing of the contributions.

We thank you in advance and look forward to have your active participation!

Bahar Zorofi and Giorgia Paratore, Secretariat of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

In the case of food price volatility under small & marginal producers and consumers:  This basically relates to local governments  -- central government may provide some guidelines but state governments may not as they are being ruled by different political parties.  Black market plays the major role. Who will stop them or control them and on the contrary they control the governments. Powerfull multinational seed companies are dumping genetically modified crops. It is known well, they are bringing in new diseases without have a capacity to increase the yield over tradional seeds in terms of production. But on the contrary increasing the cost of production and uses subsidized costly inputs. These lead farmers suicides. They bring seeds illegally with the support of politicians -- now food crops also entered to make the population guinea Pigs. . Can UN stop this menace? I doubt so!
In the case of social protection for food security and nutrition:
Here the major issue is adulteration of food items with no control by the government. Unless this menace is routed out there is no way to get nutritious food. Food security generally not a big problem. Food is produced but through public distribution system poor quality is supplied and it goes in to black market. Can UN  stop this menace? I doubt so!  
Theory is far from ground reality. First we need to look at ways and means of bring down the population. This is solution for all ills of the society. As long as international body look at this, there is no solution for even global warming a minor part of Climate Change but UN body looking at climate change as global warming
Dr. Sazzala Jeevananda Reddy
Former Chief Technical Advisor - WMO/UN & Expert - FAO/UN
Fellow, Telangana Academy of Sciences [Founder Member]
Convenor, Forum for a Sustainable Environment
Hyderabad, Telangana, India


The fluctuation of food prices over time can have significant impacts on both consumers and smallholder farmers as producers. 


Causes of food price volatility:

  1. Climate change: Changes in weather patterns can affect the production of crops and cause supply shocks that can lead to price spikes.
  2. Increased demand: Rapid population growth and changes in dietary habits have led to increased demand for food, which can drive up prices.
  3. Trade policies: Changes in trade policies, such as export restrictions or import tariffs, can affect the availability of food and lead to price volatility.
  4. Speculation: Speculators in commodity markets can drive up food prices by buying and selling contracts without ever taking physical delivery of the goods.
  5. Energy prices: As food production relies heavily on fossil fuels, changes in energy prices can affect the cost of production and transportation, leading to changes in food prices.


Consequences for developing countries:

  1. Consumer vulnerability: Food price spikes can push many people below the poverty line, making it difficult for them to access sufficient and nutritious food. This is particularly problematic in developing countries, where a large proportion of household income is spent on food.
  2. Malnutrition: High food prices can lead to undernutrition, particularly in children, which can have long-term impacts on their health and development.
  3. Instability: Food price spikes can lead to political instability and social unrest in developing countries, particularly in countries that are heavily reliant on food imports.
  4. Smallholder farmer vulnerability: Smallholder farmers may struggle to cope with price volatility, particularly if they lack access to finance, technology, or information. If they are unable to pass on higher prices to consumers, they may suffer from reduced incomes and food insecurity.

Food price volatility can have significant impacts on both consumers and smallholder farmers as producers in developing countries. Addressing the causes of price volatility and implementing measures to mitigate its consequences is crucial to ensure food security and promote sustainable development in these countries.


  1. Promoting sustainable agriculture practices: Encouraging the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices such as agroforestry, crop diversification, and water conservation can help increase agricultural productivity and reduce supply shocks that can drive up food prices.
  2. Investing in rural infrastructure: Improving rural infrastructure, including transportation, communication, and energy systems, can help reduce the costs of production and distribution, making food more affordable and accessible to consumers.
  3. Developing social safety nets: Implementing social safety nets such as food assistance programs, targeted subsidies, and income support measures can help protect vulnerable populations from the impact of price volatility.


  1. Adoption of precision agriculture: Precision agriculture technologies such as satellite imagery, weather sensors, and drones can help farmers improve their yields and reduce the risk of crop failure due to weather patterns and climate change.
  2. Adoption of blockchain technology: Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger system that can help enhance transparency, traceability, and accountability in the food system. It can help reduce price volatility by enabling farmers to track the production of their crops from farm to fork, ensuring that they receive a fair price for their products. It can also help reduce transaction costs and improve market efficiency by facilitating direct trade between farmers and consumers.


Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise the way that smallholder farmers in developing countries engage with the food system. By using blockchain, farmers can create a tamper-proof record of their crop production, which can be used to verify the quality and authenticity of their products. This can help to reduce the risk of fraud and ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their crops. Additionally, blockchain can facilitate direct trade between farmers and consumers, eliminating intermediaries and reducing transaction costs. This can help to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers and improve food security for consumers.


  1. AgriDigital: AgriDigital is an Australian blockchain-based platform that enables farmers to manage their grain deliveries, contracts, and payments. By using blockchain, AgriDigital provides farmers with greater transparency and traceability in the grain supply chain, helping to reduce price volatility and improve the efficiency of the market.

  2. Provenance: Provenance is a UK-based blockchain platform that enables food producers to track the provenance of their products from farm to fork. By using blockchain, Provenance provides consumers with greater transparency and traceability in the food supply chain, helping to reduce the risk of fraud and ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their products.

  3. IBM Food Trust: IBM Food Trust is a blockchain-based platform that enables food producers, retailers, and consumers to track the provenance of their products. By using blockchain, IBM Food Trust provides greater transparency and traceability in the food supply chain, helping to reduce price volatility and improve the efficiency of the market.