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

The threat of a new food crisis is looming…

March 18, 2013

In a recent article posted on the environmental blog of the British daily The Guardian, the political scientist Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed explains why food riots could again become a problem in the near future1, especially in Arab Spring nations.

The political, social and economic changes that occurred following these revolutions were mostly cosmetic transformations. In fact, the structural problems remain the same, and among them food insecurity.

The soaring food prices and hunger riots that erupted in 2008 sparked the blaze of the Egyptian or Tunisian uprisings in 2011. Prices have been on an upward trend since 2008, and the structural price hyper-volatility in international agricultural markets only enflamed the situation. While the FAO speaks of price stabilization, the fact of the matter is that its February 2013 food price index is 2102, a figure considered by various analysts as the critical level above which civil unrest becomes a possibility, as reported by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.

Such excessive volatility and its impact on global socio-economic balance can be explained by a combination of risks that can be exogenous––climate hazards or epizootic diseases––and endogenous–caused by the behavior of market players, whether they are farmers or speculators. This dangerous situation generates a great deal of friction. In Egypt––a large net importer of food commodities––tensions have again been evident since this summer, and are foreshadowing the risks. Often presented as testing ground for regional crises, Egypt could bring other neighboring countries in its wake…

The cries for “bread and freedom!” heard during the Arab Spring are now directed to international organizations, governments and ordinary citizens. Agriculture and food security are at the heart of 21st century discussions and challenges, and if food security is not safeguarded, are we not headed toward a “collapse of civilization”?

Yet, solutions do exist. At a time when major international organizations are questioning their renewal, it is urgent to introduce a new global governance system that will be able to break down the vicious cycle of uncontrolled financialization of agricultural markets, price hyper-volatility and food insecurity.

1 “Why food riots are likely to become the new normal”, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Guardian, March 6, 2013.
2The base index 100 was based on the reference average for 2002-2004 for all FAO prices indices.
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Paris, 25 June 2019