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Images of empty shelves in grocery stores worldwide have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this has had little to do with an actual shortage of food products but rather has reflected the behavior of panicked consumers who are hoarding food. While some earlier publications perceived no imminent threats from the pandemic to global food security, more recent articles called attention to proper policy responses to reduce the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on local and global food systems and food security.
Between August 2014 and May 2015, international wheat prices declined by 18%, rice prices dropped by 14% and maize prices declined by 6% (World Bank, 2015). This decreased prices are expected to be transmitted from international to domestic consumer prices of food items (e.g., wheat flour, bread). However, there are many factors that hinder this transmission process.
An average Georgian household spends more than 40% of its budget on food. Food prices are important determinants of access to food and stability of food security. In order to assess the stability of prices the paper looks at food price volatility for major commodities (not restricted to primary commodities only) consumed by Georgian households. Price volatility is important because both low and high prices affect different stakeholder groups (producers, consumers, exporters etc.) in different ways.
Agricultural input subsidy programs are meant to increase crop production, contributing in this way to improved food security and rise of incomes of stallholder farmers. An important goal of such programs is to develop efficient input supply systems, improving farmers’ access to inputs and adoption of new technologies (e.g., use of new seed varieties, fertilizers, and pesticides).