Managing Food Insecurity Risk

Analytical Framework and Application to Indonesia

image of Managing Food Insecurity Risk

Many of the recent concerns about food security relate to perceived threats to current levels of food security, such as those due to price shocks or natural disasters. These threats concern the risk of food insecurity. This publication develops a risk-management tool to examine the robustness of policy responses to managing risks and uncertainty across a variety of different threats to food security, and applies the framework to an Indonesia case study.

Five risk scenarios were selected as major threats to food security in Indonesia, following a consultation process among stakeholders and policy makers, and assessed in terms of existing and alternative agricultural and social policies. The risk assessment shows that domestic economic and natural disaster scenarios are more important than global price hikes and that a policy strategy that concentrates on addressing a single source of risk, such as a price spike in international markets, may increase vulnerability to other sources of risk such as domestic crop failure. The analysis yields a number of specific policy recommendations, including targeting of social assistance programme using food vouchers or cash transfers.



Executive summary

Many recent concerns about food security focus on unpredictable but shorter-lived threats to current food security levels such as price shocks and natural disasters. Unlike chronic food insecurity, transitory food insecurity occurs because of a temporary decline in household access to adequate food. Shocks like droughts or economic downturns can affect individuals who normally have appropriate access to food, threatening the stability of food security which implies adequate access to food at all times. It is particularly relevant for emerging economies that are rapidly reducing poverty and the prevalence of food insecurity, but are still vulnerable to shocks that could bring transitory food insecurity. Developed countries also sometimes raise these concerns when justifying their agricultural policies.


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