G-20 Agrees on Steps to Stabilize Food Prices, Improve Supplies

"PARIS — Agriculture ministers from the Group of 20 leading economies agreed Thursday on measures intended to lift global production and improve supplies of basic foods, while mitigating price swings.

The agreements were hailed as important steps, although some advocates said they did not go far enough, especially in tackling biofuel subsidies.

The initiatives included a database on food stocks to be managed by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome; a joint international research program on wheat; support for research into rice production; and a “rapid response forum” among Group of 20 members to assess and respond to food crises.

While investment in production was encouraged, the ministers did not offer specifics."

Matthew Saltmarsh and Steven Erlanger report for the New York Times June 23, 2011.

Source: NY Times, 06/24/2011