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September 17, 2010
The responsibility to manage volatility in agriculture is increasingly in farmers’ hands and they will need to rely more heavily on market-based tools. All in all, public policy could be most useful in increasing the risk management ability of farmers. Any extension of the public safety net will reduce the incentives for farmers and other agents along the food supply chain to manage their risks effectively through derivatives, private insurance or on-farm strategies like production diversification. Policies need to empower farmers to take their own risk management decisions and to have access to a diversity of instruments and strategies. More direct interventions are likely better kept as a means of last resort and restricted to measures which do not act at the expense of the rest of the world or of environmental sustainability. [more]