Poverty and hunger with their complex and interconnected root causes remain at the heart of the new Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, and limiting food price volatility is one of the central targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. Advancing the understanding of the causes and effects of food price volatility has as much relevance among policy makers as in the scientific community. As yet, the causal mechanisms linking global food price volatility and local food insecurity lack theoretical foundation and remain understudied. It is further unknown how different types of trade policy measures, which are a frequent political response to food shortages, affect global food price volatility, and it remains to be tested whether improved on-farm storage may be an alternative decentralized option to reduce price volatility where it matters most – at the local level in developing countries. The project therefore aims to:
- identify the causal effects of trade policy measures on global food price volatility,
- examine how global food price volatility affects local food security through transmission of global market prices to local prices, conditional on harvest seasons, and to
- understand the effects of improved on-farm storage on price volatility on local markets as a basis for alternative, decentralised measures to foster local food security.
The consortium behind the project is multidisciplinary, involving scientists with disciplinary backgrounds in economics, law, political science, and geography. The highly international composition of the research team involves university institutes in Switzerland and Vietnam, two major Swiss development organisations (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and Helvetas) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).