In fact, today, speculation on futures markets seems to have diminished and played little role in recent price volatility. It could, however, re-emerge depending on financial and monetary conditions, so we need to ensure that these markets are transparent and suitably regulated. Different ways to avoid excessive price volatility and to guarantee availability of food are also being discussed, with the setting up food reserves as an option. Does the current situation mean that our food price problems are over? No. International prices are still higher than their historical trend — higher than the peak in 2008, for example. On the other hand, regardless of price levels, excessive price volatility presents additional challenges, especially for small-scale farmers in developing countries with restricted access to financial mechanisms to contain the impacts of low or negative returns. The G20 Leaders’ Declaration at the St Petersburg Summit was right to recognize that the agricultural market situation still needs close attention. It is important to recall that the rise in food prices that started in 2006 came after three decades of falling prices that brought the agricultural sector in many poor and developing countries to its knees. High prices offers an opportunity to rebuild the livelihoods of small-scale producers, however, this is not happening yet. And, if high food prices are the new normal, then governments need to adapt to this situation by increasing resilience of the poorer populations and by strengthening social protection programs, including cash transfers. Discussions of all these issues are usually prompted by new episodes of soaring food prices and take place against a background of turmoil in international markets.
Ruane and Mark Berman Barricades around memorials on the Mall werent doing much to keep veterans and other visitors out. The shutdowns unexpected closures Stephanie Merry, Fritz Hahn and Maura Judkis If you had plans to golf at East Potomac Park, bike along the towpath or see a show at Fords Theatre, think again. In fact, if one thing has become clear to District food truck owners since the government shutdown began Tuesday, its that they rely heavily on federal workers to keep their businesses afloat. Some of the trucks most popular locations LEnfant Plaza, the Navy Yard, Federal Triangle and streets surrounding the State Department are near federal buildings full of workers who go out to lunch. Carl, 48, put his situation into sharp relief: He and Jacob, 34, were married in March, and about a month later they launched Carolina Q, a business into which they sank all of their savings. The truck had just started to break even and prove that it could become a moneymaker for the couple. But until this month, neither Jacob nor Carl had taken cash out of the business, and theyve only taken small amounts. Whats more, Carl isnt even certain he will receive back pay once the shutdown ends. Now, we really need to take money out of the business, said Carl, a resident of Mount Vernon Square. We put all of our savings into this business. Its kind of a perilous time now. On Thursday afternoon, Layth Mansour was pacing near his trucks, Philadelphia Steak Bites and Georges Buffalo Wings , which were parked on C Street SW, just outside the LEnfant Plaza Metro station. The nearby Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration buildings were apparently hit hard by the shutdown; Mansour said sales at both trucks were down 65percent. His business, he added, employs 12 people. Im not going to be able to afford the employees, Mansour said as he stood on the nearly empty sidewalk.