In the long term world food trade needs more regulation to prevent shortages and wild price fluctuations. This was the main theme of a press conference that Wageningen UR experts held on Friday 27 June.
Professor Ruud Huirne, director of the Social Sciences Group, indicated that the experts are divided in their opinions, while Bram Huijsman also said that ‘a kind of Common Agricultural Policy is needed for regions such as West or East Africa’. Huijsman, who is director of Wageningen International, argued for a regional approach to working out Koning’s ideas. As Huijsman put it, there could be a bit less agricultural policy in Europe and a bit more in Africa.
For Africa, the high food prices are a blessing in disguise, said Professor Rudy Rabbinge. According to him, the high prices have resulted in an increased political will to double food production in Africa. This doubling is definitely set to happen, said Rabbinge, especially as there is increasing support for the development of local farmers’ organisations, which will help Africa’s production capacity to grow.