Every four years, some Washington types decamp for the Midwest to praise the hard work, common sense, and wisdom of Iowa voters, who they hope, not incidentally, will recognize those same qualities in themselves. The presidential candidates class of 2008 collectively racked up more than 1,940 stops in the Hawkeye State this year, giving politicians and journalists alike ample time to view the state's marvelously fertile and, at times, damnably vast fields. Twenty minutes in a grocery store makes the shortfall more believable. U.S. food prices are up 5 percent in 12 months; global cereal, 92 percent.
Have world food prices been pushed above normal market levels by pension funds and other institutional investors that have discovered that commodities futures are a good investment and a protection against inflation? Oddly enough, the very same American farmers and grain elevator operators who have made the most money from the run-up in agricultural commodities prices have been asking the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and lawmakers that question. The farmers and elevator operators acknowledge that the higher commodities prices are primarily caused by changes in market fundamentals.
Anti-hunger activists and government officials in some countries had been hoping that the three-day confab here with the long-winded name—the United Nations High-Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy—would result in at least three outcomes: massive commitments of money for food aid and development assistance; a U.N. position opposing corn-based ethanol; and a strong statement on the export bans that some developing nations have put on rice and other staples to keep prices low in their own countries.
The rising impact of natural diasters is driving up the cost of disaster relief and reconstruction for the public sector, especially in developing countries where insurance penetration is still low. Swiss Re’s focus report “Disaster risk financing: reducing the burden on public budgets” shows how recent risk transfer solutions offer governments, development banks and relief organisations models to access pre-event financing, and enable them to allocate relief funds more efficiently by using insurance and capital market instruments.
According to the latest Swiss Re sigma study, world insurance premium income grew 3.3% in real terms in 2007, reaching USD 4 061bn. This growth was primarily driven by the life business in industrialised and emerging markets and to a lesser extent by the non-life business in the emerging markets. Life insurance premiums increased 5.4%, which is above the previous ten year average. Non-life premium growth was robust in the emerging markets (+10%), but decreased in the industrialised countries (-0.3%). However, both the life and non-life industries are financially sound despite the challenging economic environment.
Information on subsidized crop insurance program in Ukraine in 2007 (preliminary statistical data) Roman Shynkarenko This publication provides statistical data on subsidized crop insurance program in Ukraine is 2007. The preliminary data on subsidized program in 2007 was announced by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy in April 2008. The ministry administrates crop insurance subsidy program […]
Significant increase in world cereal production forecast for 2008, but prices remain high FAO Early prospects point to the possibility of a significant increase in world cereal production in 2008, but international prices of most cereals remain at record high levels and some are still on the increase. The forecast increase in production follows expansion […]
Innovations in risk transfer for natural disasters in lower-income countries, in particular weather index insurance products, can be used to shift various weather-related risks. This article discusses the linkage between weather risk and poverty; provides background information on weather index insurance products; describes requirements for the implementation of weather index insurance and possible roles for governments, donors, and international financial institutions in facilitating implementation; and briefly reviews recent efforts to provide weather index insurance products in rural areas of some middle- and lower-income countries.
On The Revelation Of Private Information In The U.S. Crop Insurance Program Ergun, A Tolga; Ker, Alan The crop insurance program is a prominent facet of U.S. farm policy. The participation of private insurance companies as intermediaries is justified on the basis of efficiency gains. These gains may arise from either decreased transaction costs through […]
Forfás published a profile of the co-operative enterprise sector in Ireland and internationally. The report, Ireland’s Co-operative Sector, forms part of a review of the legislative and organisational framework for co-operatives in Ireland being undertaken by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The report identifies some of the key challenges and opportunities for Irish co-operatives for the future.
An Evaluation of the Demand for a National Accreditation Scheme for Professionals in the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Sectors Michael Young & Associates for the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science & Technology This report presents the outcomes from a study to assess the demand for a National Accreditation Scheme (NAS) for Professionals (consultants and […]
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