Other Agriculture Study

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    Food Price Increases in South Asia : National Responses and Regional Dimensions
    (World Bank, 2010-06-01) World Bank
    Food price inflation not only threatens macroeconomic stability but also decreases the welfare levels of most households, especially the poorer ones, for whom food consumption constitutes a relatively large share of total expenditures. This report analyzes the causes and effects of food price inflation in South Asia during the period 2007?08 and beyond; simulates the impact of food price increases on household welfare and the potential of adjustments in consumer and producer behavior for mitigating the negative impact on welfare; and assesses the potential impact of regional trade liberalization on food prices. The appendixes describe the policy reactions of individual governments to the increases in food prices against the background of their respective domestic food policies. The focus is on wheat and rice, which are the main food staples in South Asia and together account for an important part of food expenditures of the poor. By analyzing the household?level impacts of the food crisis and taking stock of the policy responses of national governments, including their regional dimensions, the report allows lessons to be drawn regarding the policies that South Asian governments may want to follow to enable them to react appropriately in case another food crisis unfolds, while at the same time helping to prevent such a crisis from occurring.