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The G-20 and Food Security: What Is the Right Agenda?
Policy Analysis Brief
Food security issues have been on the G-20 agenda in one form or another since 2009, yet without a consistent focus. For instance, the group at times has highlighted agricultural productivity issues (knowledge sharing, investments in small-holder farming) on which it has little comparative advantage relative to other multilateral venues. On the other hand, the problems of access confronting food-insecure populations—especially in globalized markets where food, feed, and fuel all compete for land, water, and infrastructure—fit very well with the G-20’s global economic remit.
As Sophia Murphy’s new analysis brief outlines, there are numerous ways the G-20 could help: by reforming certain problematic domestic policies (for instance, US and European biofuels mandates); by accepting greater transparency in the level and use of grain stocks; by improving the regulation of speculation on commodity futures markets; through progress shifting their agricultural production systems toward less-polluting models; and by accepting disciplines on the use of export restrictions and working with net-food importing developing countries to restore confidence in international trade.
Murphy’s analysis shows how the G-20 could help make international markets more robust, more sensitive to the food security concerns of net-food importing countries, and less prone to harmful disruptions or spillovers through better coordination of national policies. The piece confirms a perception among officials involved in the process that these issues are ripe for cooperation, well matched to the G-20’s strengths, and offer G-20 leaders a chance to boost food security globally. Indeed, the leaders should seize that opportunity.
The Spring 2017 issue of Courier provides insight and perspective on different global policy areas, including mass atrocity prevention in the Gambia and climate change agricultural innovation in Morocco. This issue also features a special look at the global order by Stanley Foundation president, Keith Porter; a feature on the struggle of a Somalian refugee hoping to resettle in the US; and a Q&A from our latest explorer award winner. The full Spring 2017 issue. PDF (1,151K) Subscribe for FREE.
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