A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Food riots are still a major threat

March 31, 2014


According to a CNN blog posted by Dr. Evan Fraser, a Canadian research academic, the world can expect increased food riots. The professor believes that the severe drought in the Middle East, the crisis in Ukraine and the soaring food prices published by the FAO––the highest spike since mid-2012––are the ingredients of an explosive mix that could generate new uprisings and socio-political tensions.

In fact, the FAO food price index reported its highest increase since mid-2012 due to climate disruptions and the growing demand. It came close to 208.1 points in February 2014, a 5.2-point surge (or 2.6 percent) from the slightly revised January reading, while remaining lower by 2.1 percent than that recorded at the same time last year. This index is dangerously close to the threshold of 210 points, a limit considered by various analysts as the critical line below which civil war is becoming a possibility.

Geopolitical tensions are indeed tangible: the Ukrainian crisis impacts not only soaring wheat prices but can also generate a grain scarcity on international markets. As a result, Evan Fraser raises the following issue: If the Middle East turns to international grain markets, will it have the sufficient financial ability to get its supply from such markets?

In 2007 and 2008, the soaring food prices and food riots occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Mashriq nations and Asia spawned unprecedented unrest and strong political instability, both serving as agents for the Arab Spring. Since 2008, prices are on an upward trend and the structural price hyper-volatility has done nothing but further deteriorate the situation.

The excessive volatility and its impact on global socio-economic balance can be explained by a combination of exogenous risks––climate hazards or epizootic diseases––and endogenous risks caused by the behavior of market players, including farmers as well as speculators.

History could repeat itself in 2014 and well beyond if a collective awareness on the need to initiate a new global governance system is not brought about. It will be the only way to break the vicious circle of the uncontrolled financialization of agricultural markets, of price hyper-volatility and of food insecurity.
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Paris, 18 December 2018