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IFPRI launches new dashboard to assess global food price vulnerability

03 January 20243 min reading

In a world where international food prices remain highly unpredictable, the International Food Policy Research Institute's (IFPRI) has taken a significant step forward. Introducing its new dashboard for the rapid assessment of Vulnerability to Global Food Price Shocks, IFPRI aims to equip national policymakers with essential metrics to understand and address the impact of economic shocks on food security.

International food prices are volatile. Prices for major staple crops, like wheat, maize, rice, and oil seeds have suffered major up- and downswings creating uncertain market conditions for farmers and unstable food access for consumers. This international price volatility is disproportionately impacting consumers in low-income countries that are heavily reliant on food imports. National policymakers and international development organizations need better information on the vulnerability of each country to different types of economic shocks. Such information can facilitate the design of programs and policies to prepare for and respond to these international food price shocks. To address this need, IFPRI’s Food Security Portal (FSP) has launched its new dashboard for rapid assessment of Vulnerability to Global Food Price Shocks. The dashboard provides new metrics quantifying country-level vulnerability to changes in international prices for major staple crops. 

Food Import Vulnerability Index (FIVI)

The new Food Import Vulnerability Index (FIVI) facilitates a rapid assessment of the risk to national food security of international food price shocks for 182 countries. Commodity-level FIVI scores indicate the vulnerability of a country to higher world prices for each staple food, while a country’s FIVI measures the vulnerability of the country to higher world food prices in general. Both the commodity-level FIVI and the national FIVI are based on the following three components:

  1. Share of caloric food intake, calculated as the share of staple crops in total food-energy consumption measured in calorie intake.
  2. Import dependence ratio, which is the share of net imports of each staple food in total domestic food consumption of the commodity.
  3. Prevalence of food insecurity, defined as the share of the population that faces moderate or severe food insecurity according to the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES).

The commodity-level Food Import Vulnerability Index (FIVI) is calculated as the geometric mean of the three components listed above for each staple food and each country. The commodity-level FIVI is calculated for the 15 most important staple foods: wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, beans, groundnuts, soybeans, sugar, and vegetable oils.

The national FIVI will be low if imports represent a small share of the calories consumed from the 15 staple foods or the share of the population experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity is low. Conversely, the national FIVI will be high if a large share of the calories of the 15 staple foods consumed comes from imports and a large proportion of the population faces moderate or severe food insecurity.

The dashboard, featuring world maps, tables, and methodology, can be accessed for each indicator by clicking on the following link: www.foodsecurityportal.org/node/2505

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