production and have helped drive price volatility in grain crops like wheat
and maize, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization says in a new report.
The FAO’s report advocates a balance between improving farm output to meet rising food demand and to prevent price shocks, while also ensuring environmental sustainability.
“Policies in domains such as biofuel production, food self-sufficiency and international trade may have unintended adverse environmental consequences, which should be carefully evaluated. It also requires that public investment is directed towards enhancing production in ways that are environmentally sustainable and socially beneficial,” the report says.
The UN agency attributes growing volatility in farm commodity prices to population growth as well as “higher per capita incomes, urban migration and associated changing diets in developing countries, weather-related production shocks, trade policy shocks and rising demand for biofuel feedstocks.”