Political Science > Agriculture & Food Policy

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Mr. Alun H. Thomas and Ms. Rima A Turk
Against the backdrop of high international food and fertilizer prices, this paper discusses food insecurity in Nigeria, investigates its drivers in a cross-country setting, and assesses the role of policies. Using two proxies for food security, we find that high per capita consumption, high yields and low food inflation support food security. Cross-country estimates of yields and production provided by the FAO/OECD reveal that use of inputs is lower in Nigeria than in other countries, and that policies to raise crop yields positively correlate with better food security conditions. The paper also uses detailed domestic commodity price indices to assess linkages with international prices and the role of import bans. Central bank policies for funding agriculture and import bans have not managed to stimulate agricultural output nor moderated the impact of international food prices. Rather, policies should focus on use of inputs that are severely underused in Nigeria as elsewhere in SSA.
Diogo Miguel Salgado Baptista, Yoro Diallo, and Mr. Arsene Kaho
Niger’s exposure to recurrent shocks, including climate shocks, increases its vulnerability to food insecurity. This paper aims to quantify the combined effects of climate shocks and food insecurity on key economic variables and identify the most effective mitigation policy responses using a general equilibrium model. Results indicate that rural households would be the most affected by a climate shock resulting in a decline in domestic agricultural production, which would reduce their consumption, erode their capital, and thus increase urban-rural inequalities. Simulations show that cash transfers and the reduction of internal mobility costs appear to be more effective in mitigating the impact on households of a climate shock on agricultural production.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Haiti has been hit hard by the global food price shock. In September 2022, food inflation reached 44 percent, with rice inflation nearly 70 percent. With more than half the population already below the poverty line, Haiti faces a dire humanitarian crisis, with an expected financing gap in FY2023 of at least US$105 million (0.5 percent of GDP), assuming import compression and pending additional external financing from development partners. This shock compounds the hardships of an already highly fragile country—also suffering a public health emergency (cholera) and serious security risks. In line with global trends and also due to an escalation of violence, the macroeconomic situation has been more challenging relative to the outlook in June 2022, at the time of the approval of the Staff Monitored Program (SMP). That said, recent data suggest that the authorities are making meaningful efforts to overcome the multiple challenges facing the country and the First Review of the SMP was approved by IMF Management on December 21, 2022.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
CEMAC is broadly benefiting from the positive terms of trade shock amidst the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Post-pandemic economic recovery is taking hold, albeit slowly, supported by high oil prices and the lifting of COVID-19 containment measures. External reserves have started to build up, though still short of the desired level, owing in part to costly untargeted energy and food subsidies. Global inflation pressures have passed through to domestic prices, putting pressure on real incomes. Rebuilding buffers and sustaining a recovery that protects the most vulnerable will require stricter adherence to budget and reform plans consistent with Fund-supported programs and policy advice; this will ensure that part of the oil windfall is saved. Implementation of these policies in current favorable conditions is critical to strengthening resilience in the face of rising risks, including most notably to food security, debt vulnerabilities, and tightening of global financial conditions.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.


Sub-Saharan Africa’s recovery has been abruptly interrupted. Last year, activity finally bounced back, lifting GDP growth in 2021 to 4.7 percent. But growth in 2022 is expected to slow sharply by more than 1 percentage point to 3.6 percent, as a worldwide slowdown, tighter global financial conditions, and a dramatic pickup in global inflation spill into a region already wearied by an ongoing series of shocks. Rising food and energy prices are impacting the region’s most vulnerable, and public debt and inflation are at levels not seen in decades. Against this backdrop, and with limited options, many countries find themselves pushed closer to the edge. The near-term outlook is extremely uncertain as the region’s prospects are tied to developments in the global economy and with a number of countries facing difficult sociopolitical and security situations at home. Within this challenging environment, policymakers must confront immediate socioeconomic crises as they arise, while also endeavoring to reduce vulnerabilities to future shocks, building resilience. Ultimately, however, the region’s safety and prosperity will require high-quality growth and the implementation of policies that will set the stage for a sustainable recovery, helping countries move away from the edge.

International Monetary Fund
Reeling from multiple shocks, the global economic outlook looks increasingly difficult. Since last October, we have downgraded global growth and revised up inflation projections four times. Two years of pandemic, followed by the war in Ukraine, have taken a heavy toll on activity and global trade, exhausting both policy buffers and people’s patience. Now, a ‘cost-of-living crisis’ threatens livelihoods everywhere, with the most vulnerable hit the hardest, and acute food insecurity is an unbearable hardship in too many parts of the world. Multi-decade inflation highs, tightening financing conditions, rising food and energy insecurity, capital flow disruptions, and record high debt levels point to a particularly difficult and uncertain period ahead—especially in the context of slowing growth in the US, Europe, and China. The increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters—devastating floods, droughts, and wildfires—adds to these challenges. While the ongoing digital revolution brings new opportunities, the recent turmoil in crypto asset markets is a reminder of the risks of unfettered digitalization.