From take-off in January 2007 to peaks in the first half of 2008, maize prices increased by 74%, wheat by 124%, and rice 224%. Rising prices for these key staples rang alarm bells. With ensuing protests and riots across the globe, the food security of vulnerable people began its own spike up the international development agenda.
Modellers were quick off the block to assess likely impacts, making some basic assumptions about price transmission from international to domestic markets. But how valid were these assumptions for the 2007/08 crisis? Several studies have addressed this question: a recent ODI study synthesised their findings.