Food Monitor Launch at the International Green Week in Berlin
The Food Monitor website was launched on Sunday, January 29, 2017, at the International Green Week in Berlin. The Food Monitor is an early warning system providing near to real-time information about global market developments, food price volatility and global food supplies.
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Foodmonitor.org: New early warning system for famines
The Center for Development Research (ZEF) of Bonn University presented a new early warning system for food security at the International Green Week in Berlin.
From a global perspective, hunger is declining. However, its causes have become more complex. Alongside poverty and poor productivity, other factors such as conflict and war, climate and disturbed markets have also been added as major causes of hunger over the past decade.
Extreme price movements of staple food have severe impacts, especially on poor people. The Center for Development Research (ZEF) of Bonn University has developed in cooperation with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington D.C., USA, Food Monitor (www.foodmonitor.org).
Food Monitor uses an easily understandable traffic light system that processes information innovatively to ensure food price risks are more visible at an early stage of development, which then enables the taking of action through early interventions. By using close to real-time information, Food Monitor provides price information on international markets and their transmission to local markets for major staple commodities, like wheat rice and maize, while informing about the global supply situation at the same time. Through the use of Google news feeds, the latest information about agricultural markets is collected and integrated into a final assessment of the current situation.
“Foodmonitor.org is a result of scientific analysis and uses the opportunities of modern information technology”, explains Joachim von Braun, Director at ZEF and project leader. Food Monitor not only captures the important risk information, but communicates it via a direct and automatic connection with Twitter, meaning alerts and updates on the latest risks are available and communicated immediately.
In 2007/2008, bottlenecks in food supplies occurred in more than 40 countries worldwide. One of the causes were price speculations, especially for wheat, maize and rice. A lack of information and preparedness as well as slow acting government led to so-called hunger revolts. Information provided by Food Monitor will make it possible to take counter measures at an early stage. For example, governments could provide grain supplies to the local markets upon receiving this risk information, thus minimizing any risk impacts by responding early. In addition, Food Monitor can also enable humanitarian aid organizations and local decision-makers to respond more quickly. The Food Monitor project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Food Monitor was presented by Joachim von Braun and Regine Weber (ZEF), Matthias Amling (German NGO “Welthungerhilfe”) and Stefan Schmitz of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the International Green Week in Berlin.
Alma van der Veen, ZEF Communications, phone 0228 731846, email firstname.lastname@example.org