Global Financial Crises and Food Commodity Speculation: Assessing the Impacts on Agro-Food Sector, Rural Economies and Food Security

Global Financial Crises and Food Commodity Speculation: Assessing the Impacts on Agro-Food Sector, Rural Economies and Food Security

The seminar aims at constituting an opportunity to highlight the adverse effects for the agro-food sector and rural economy due to the recent financial crisis and food markets speculation, to measure and evaluate the depth of the damage in the affected areas, to develop and discuss solutions and to derive recommendations for the future to more easily cope with another severe crisis.

Invited Papers

The Program Committee will invite 4-5 prominent scholars and policy makers to present key-note papers covering the most important topics of the seminar.

Contributed papers and posters

The Program Committee invites contributed papers and posters regarding the topics mentioned above.

The seminar seeks contributions bringing together economists, agricultural economists, modelers, and policy analysts. Both theoretical and applied papers are welcome.

Abstract Submission: May 30, 2012

The abstract for contributed papers and posters should be at most 500 words and should include the research question(s) addressed, the concepts and theories referred to, the materials and methods used and the results obtained. Up to five keywords should be provided and full contact address and affiliation of the corresponding and other authors should be included.

All submissions are to be done electronically via the online submission system. Submissions by email/fax are not accepted. Please note that your registration is required to access abstract submission, but payment is not mandatory at this stage.

Author Notification: June 30, 2012

Deadline for Sending Full Selected and Poster Papers: August 31, 2012


Papers will be uploaded on AgEcon Search. The conference CD will be prepared that includes the full speech of the keynote speaker, invited speakers, full selected papers and list of participants. The abstract book will be provided.

A selection of the contributed and invited papers will be proposed for publication in a special issue of an academic journal. (To be confirmed)

Confirmed Special Issues

It is anticipated that a selected number of conference papers will be published as a special issue of the

-Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing and


For further information about the journals, please visit and

The call for papers together with all information concerning the seminar can be downloaded from the seminar website (address of the website)



The impact of recent global financial crisis has been accompanied by severe economy-wide effects, including those on the agro-food sector and the rural economy in both Northern and Southern countries. Overlapping with the recent worldwide food crisis which was argued by some to be significantly triggered by the speculative behavior in food commodity market, the damage of the financial crisis on small scale farm holders, and poor people living in rural areas and the risk of food insecurity for a large number of people is expected to be deeper and perhaps long-lasting.

Taking the above into account, this EAAE seminar aims at:
Highlighting rural economies components which are likely to be most adversely affected by the global financial crisis,
Measuring and discussing the damage of the financial crisis on the agro-food sector and rural areas,

Assessing the speculative bubble effect,

Analyzing and assessing the efficient alternative remedies for economic recovery.


Various aspects of the current financial crisis make it different from previous ones. First of all the crisis has not solely affected the financial sector, but also its impacts spread out to other sectors such as agriculture, industry and service sectors, and the effects are deeper and seem to last longer than expected. Secondly, the crisis became a much more integrated global one rather than a developing-world crisis as in the past. Thirdly, it overlapped with a food crisis which pushed the prices of basic staples to unexpectedly high levels, while speculative activities in the food commodity markets were accused of exacerbating the pressure on the rising price trends. Lastly, developing countries are far more exposed to shocks in international markets today as they are more financially and commercially integrated into the world economy.

Given these characteristics, the recent financial crisis creates several problems particularly in the agro-food sector and rural economies. One of the important issues worth consideration is the financial constraints which nowadays influences both public policy and economic actor response. In a global crisis, the scope of various public policy instruments such as currency devaluation, borrowing or increased use of official assistance, becomes rather limited. Seen the higher part of food consumption in consumer budgets and being more dependent on international aid and remittances and higher levels of unemployment and poverty the impact  on some developing countries could be more severe.

Another issue is the joint impact of food commodity speculation, the speculative bubble and the current financial crisis which has affected food prices to a level beyond the reach of millions of poor people, especially in developing countries. While the agricultural sector is showing more resilience to the global economic crisis compared to other industries, the risks could increase if the economic downturn continues or the speed of economic recovery is low.

Another problem is the effect of financial/fiscal constraints on targeted policies such as public investment in agriculture and rural infrastructure, establishment of effective research and development systems which historically has been proven to be the main engine for productivity growth, driving rural growth and thereby reducing poverty and hunger, especially in the developing world. Internationally, a rising cost of capital can be the other source of targeted policy removal. The impact of stagnation on off-farm production and employment opportunities is another problem that should be considered, as well.

The market momentum-based speculation in food commodity markets which is defined as the herding behavior in times of strong (usually) upward price trends in developed and easily accessible markets may create speculative bubbles. These bubbles apparently tend to increase price volatility and argued to induce market destabilization.

Consequently, it might not be an exaggeration to expect structural changes in rural areas, as well as increases in poverty and decreases in food availability. Most probably the severity of these effects will vary depending on the current economic status in specific countries and regions. Finding solutions for the people of adversely affected areas and counter measure options to cope with future crises is another important challenge.


This seminar attempts to address the significance of the recent global financial crisis and high food commodity prices linked to speculation on the agro-food industry, rural economies and food security.

It aims at bringing together economists, agricultural economists, modelers, and policy analysts in order to explore the adverse effects experienced by the agro-food sector and rural economies during and after the recent financial crisis, measure and evaluate the depth of the damage in the affected economies, develop and discuss solutions to the problem, and  derive relevant policy recommendations.

The seminar does not exclusively focus on a particular scientific domain. Multiple theoretical and/or methodological contributions and particularly quantitative analyses are all welcome.

Important Dates
Abstract submission: 15 June 2012
Author notification: 30 June 2012
Deadline for early registration discount: 31 July 2012
Full paper and poster submission: 31 August 2012
Deadline for registration: 21 September 2012

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