Declining food prices could thwart international efforts to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty unless steps are taken to guarantee decent incomes and livelihoods for small-scale farmers, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in Rome today.
Globally, food prices are believed to be back to their long-term downward trend in real terms, as supply growth outpaces demand.
This follows the price surges experienced during the 2008-12 period and a prolonged period of volatility in food markets, Graziano da Silva told Agriculture and Trade Ministers and other government officials and experts from various countries, attending a high-level Ministerial Meeting on agricultural commodity prices at FAO’s headquarters.
"As policymakers, you are confronted by the challenge of keeping nutritious food affordable for the poor, while ensuring good incentives for producers, including family farmers," he added.
"Low food prices reduce the incomes of farmers, especially poor family farmers who produce staple food in the developing countries. This cut in the flow of cash into rural communities also reduces the incentives for new investments in production, infrastructure and services," the FAO Director-General said. He underscored the need to consider the current decline in agricultural commodity prices in the context of the international community’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.