By David Lea
An in-depth survey of the foremost commodities of the area * Profiles every one commodity intimately * offers in-depth records on creation * contains a useful listing Contents: * Introductory essays * Covers all significant agricultural and mineral items together with aluminium, coal, cotton, nickel, petroleum, bananas, rice, rubber, tea, espresso, tobacco, wheat, average fuel, soybeans, zinc, lead and phosphates * every one commodity is profiled intimately with details on actual visual appeal, heritage, makes use of, significant markets, traits admired, significant importers and exporters * Statistical info of contemporary degrees of creation at a world and person state point * contemporary tendencies in costs with indexes of export costs * A listing of corporations serious about commodities.
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Turning to the volatility of food availability, the calculations based on the food availability statistics from which Tables 1, 2 and 3 were derived reveal that developing countries as a whole witnessed an increase in such volatility during the 1970s. Since then volatility in food availability in developing countries has declined. This decline was most substantial (by over one-half in case of calories and proteins and slightly less than one-half in case of fats) in the latter half of 1990s. Consequently, the difference in the variability of food supply between developing countries and industrialized countries has reduced dramatically by the late 1990s.
Besides, the improvement in the foreign-exchange position of these countries over the long-run would permit them to import more food, both habitually and in case of the emergencies outlined above, further increasing food availability and food security. Economists have long argued that in order to enjoy these long-run benefits of ‘trade-fordevelopment’, resulting ultimately in poverty reduction and enhanced food security, the various distortions in the world trade regime have to be removed. Such distortions are widespread across different commodities and sectors and can be found in both industrialized and developing countries.
However, in some cases it is also the inappropriate and restrictive macroeconomic and agricultural policies prevailing in many developing countries that act as a serious disincentive for farming, resulting in low agricultural productivity and ultimately insufficient food production. The problem is essentially one of food management and food price stabilization at the macroeconomic level, rather than one of production, per se. If the domestic production shortfall is extreme (such as during a drought or famine) the government can take the responsibility of food distribution upon itself by imposing severe restrictions on the normal private channels of distribution.