The FAO estimates that over the period 2011- 2013 around 842 million people, or one out of eight worldwide, suffered from chronic hunger. Despite overall pro-gress, food security remains a major global challenge and progress is mixed and subject to marked differences across regions.
The abrupt rise and volatility of food prices between 2007 and 2008, and the de-terioration in food security conditions in many parts of the world also demon-strated the vulnerability of the world food system. Moreover, it illustrated that a crosscutting, holistic approach is needed to address multiple challenges across the four dimensions of food security: availability, access, utilisation and stability. This entails coherent action by all actors involved, across a wide range of policies and at different complementary levels of governance, in developing as well as de-veloped countries.
This TRAVERSE debate will address issues from a development policy perspective that are related to agricultural commodity trade, price developments and under-lying drivers, including food price speculation and regulatory issues. It provides a timely opportunity, in light of international and domestic discussions, to identify solutions and share experiences.
The debate’s objective is to inform Switzerland’s development cooperation con-stituency and Swiss politics at large against the backdrop of a number of Popular Initiatives on agricultural policy, including on a Prohibition of Food Speculation, which will be debated and voted on in the next three years.
Among others, the following questions will be addressed by the panel of experts
- What is the significance of agricultural commodity trade and price devel-opments to developing countries? What are the economic drivers?
- How does the international community address related challenges?
- What can Switzerland and Swiss Development Cooperation contribute to sustainable solutions?
The debate will be introduced by Ambassador Manuel Sager, Director-General of the SDC, and moderated by Markus Mugglin, Former Chief Editor Echo der Zeit, Swiss Radio.
We look forward to a lively debate!