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Beyond the numbers

A review of various economic indicators shows that both the recent food crisis and the financial and economic crisis have had significant negative effects on the Central American countries. The first jolt to the region came in 2007 and mid-2008, while…

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Más allá de los números

La revisión de varios indicadores económicos muestra que tanto la crisis de alimentos como la crisis económica y financiera recientes tuvieron efectos negativos considerables sobre los países centroamericanos. La primera golpeó a la región entre el…

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Economics of land degradation

In recent years, prices of agricultural land have increased quickly, actually doubling and tripling in many parts of the world. This land value reassessment has been prompted by rising crop prices and perceived land scarcity. But even as the value of…

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Liberalizing foodgrains markets

South Asia is home to the largest concentration of poor and undernourished people in the world, so food security—especially in basic staples such as wheat, rice, and corn—continues to be a major concern. With both persistent and re-emerging food price…

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2009 Global Hunger Index: the challenge of hunger

In 2009, high and volatile food prices combined with economic recession posed significant risks to poor and vulnerable households, with often dire consequences for their food security. The 2009 Global Hunger Index (GHI), the fourth in an annual series…

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Eight years of Doha trade talks

"We commit ourselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at: substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support. We agree…

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Local markets, local varieties

There are no easy solutions to the ongoing food price crisis. Maize and wheat prices doubled between 2003 and 2008, and the price of rice doubled in the first four months of 2008, rising 33 percent in a single day. Even with declines in food prices…

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Fertilizer subsidies in Africa

In the 1970s and 1980s, most African countries sold fertilizer at subsidized prices through state-owned enterprises. In response to the fiscal cost and ineffective implementation of these subsidies, as well as pressure from international financial…

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Cuando la especulación sí importa

La crisis de precios de los alimentos de 2007/2008 se debió a varias razones, entre ellas: una creciente demanda por alimentos en países emergentes, los cambios en los mercados internacionales de granos propiciados por los biocombustibles, el cambio…

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When speculation matters

The food price crisis of 2007–08 had several causes—rising demand for food, the change in the food equation through biofuels, climate change, high oil prices—but there is substantial evidence that the crisis was made worse by the malfunctioning of…

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