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Food Price Volatility: Political Causes, Effects on Hunger and Poverty, Sustainable Solutions
Research Question:

What are the effects of different types of trade policy measures on global food price volatility and what local, alternative measures can be adopted to foster food security in volatile global markets?

 

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).

Starting

Project Members

Name Role Department/Institute Institution
Matthias Huss Coordinator Informatics and Sustainability Research Group Universität Zürich
Joachim Scholderer Co-Coordinator Department of Informatics Universität Zürich
Philipp Aerni Principal Member Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Universität Zürich
Michael Brander Principal Member Center for Comparative and International Studies ETHZ
Raphael Dischl Principal Member HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
Marco Haase Principal Member Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Universität Zürich
Christian Häberli Principal Member World Trade Institute Universität Bern
Khoi Dang Kim Principal Member Center for Agricultural Policy, Institute for Policy and Strategies for Agricultureand Rural Development Other
Le Thi Ha Lien Principal Member Center for Agricultural Policy, Institute for Policy and Strategies for Agricultureand Rural Development Other
Tran Cong Than Principal Member Institute for Policy and Strategies for Agriculture and Rural Development Other
Nguyen Thi Ha Trang Principal Member Center for Agricultural Policy, Institute for Policy and Strategies for Agricultureand Rural Development Other
Friederike Greb Associated Member FAO UN United Nations
Adam Prakash Associated Member FAO UN United Nations
George Rapsomanikis Associated Member FAO UN United Nations
Simon Zbinden Associated Member Global Programme Food Security Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation