Wanted: institutions for balancing global food and energy markets.

N.B.J. Koning, A.P.J. Mol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The increasing demand for biomass for energy use is further escalating existing food security risks. Managing these risks is a task for global institutions. These should ensure timely investment in the world's capacity for producing biomass and balance the use of this biomass for foods and for non-foods. To achieve this, institutional arrangements for global food markets must fulfil two important goals: reduce the short-term price instability of food markets and prevent a structural scarcity of food in the long term. This paper analyses how agro-food markets, energy markets and biofuel markets are currently regulated. As this regulation is ill-suited to manage food price instabilities and balance food and non-food use of biomass, new institutions need to be put in place. A coordinated system of global commodity management - not unlike the Commodity Control Organization proposed by Keynes for the post-WWII era - is proposed to deal with these coming challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-303
JournalFood Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • agricultural markets
  • trade
  • liberalization
  • biofuels
  • growth
  • rice

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