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Food security and the role of the grain trade (英语)

This paper is concerned primarily with reassessing the risks associated with developing country reliance on international trade as part of a food security strategy. The paper also discusses food supply and trade issues largely in terms of grain. This is because grain is the primary staple in the diets of the vast majority, and because such data as are available relate almost exclusively to grain. Official policy statements from many international agencies and developing countries reveal perceptions about the risks inherent in international grain markets that have not changed significantly since the dislocations of the early 1970s. Policy makers remain particularly concerned that global supplies may prove inadequate to meet the needs arising in the event of a poor harvest. Even if global supplies are adequate, concerns remain about the affordability of imports and the possible impact of political trade embargoes. Notwithstanding the large investments required to reduce reliance on international markets, there has been little effort made to assess whether, in the light of recent developments in the world grain markets, many of the concerns about the reliability of world markets are justifiable. This paper seeks to address this matter.