In April 2016, the President of Malawi declared a state of emergency in response to the second consecutive year of failed maize harvests. Domestic maize production in early 2016 only reached 2.4 million metric tons, compared to the 3.2 metric tons harvested in an average year. The international aid community and the private sector responded with the Food Insecurity Response Program (FIRP), which provided aid to almost 40 percent of the Malawian population.
International coffee markets are changing quickly due to market liberalization, increasingly stringent quality and safety standards, and the development of specialty coffee markets. Coffee production takes place primarily in developing countries, and such changes could have significant impacts on smallholder coffee producers. In Africa south of the Sahara, Ethiopia represents the largest coffee market actor, and the country’s coffee sector has seen improved productivity and increased prices in recent years.
A new book by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) , with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) , examines the stability pillar of FAO’s four pillars of food security , focusing specifically on price volatility and extreme price events in food markets.