This article takes the food crisis that began in 2007 as an occasion to draw attention to the deleterious impact of agricultural market volatility on poor farmers and food importing low-income countries. The article presents a menu of mechanisms that may reduce volatility or farmer and low-income country exposure to it. This is followed by a discussion of mechanisms that allow for the transfer of price risk through the use of instruments such as futures and options. Surveying empirical cases and experimental studies, the article focuses on potential applications of such mechanisms in low-income country settings.
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