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  • Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio
  • Robinson, Sherman
  • Thomas, Marcelle

Abstract

An important component of the current debate about agriculture trade negotiations is whether further liberalization of trade and agricultural policies may help or hinder food security in WTO member countries. These concerns were formulated first, in Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture negotiated during the Uruguay Round, which indicated that negotiations should take into consideration, among other things, "non trade concerns"; and in its preamble, which mentioned as examples of those concerns, "food security and the need to protect the environment". They were also reaffirmed in the Doha Declaration, which declares that "the long-term objective" is "to establish a fair and market-oriented trading system through a program of fundamental reform", and confirmed that special and differential treatment will be granted to developing countries "to effectively take account of their development needs, including food security and rural development". Although the issue of food security and agricultural negotiations within the WTO has been raised both by industrialized ("multifunctionality" of agriculture) and developing countries, the discussion in the case of developing countries has included important policy objectives such as elimination of poverty and hunger (as cause and consequence of food insecurity). Concerned with the effects that further negotiations would have on the attainment of those objectives in poor countries, several developing countries have proposed the creation of a "Development Box" or a "Food Security Box". To contribute to this debate, the paper surveys and discusses in greater detail three main aspects of trade liberalization and food security within the WTO: the adequacy of the current WTO classification of countries according to their food security situation; the policy perspectives in industrialized countries and in developing countries; and the legal issues faced by developing countries. The paper concludes that a better classification is needed within the WTO to target food insecure countries, that many food security concerns can be addressed with specific clarifications and changes in the current language of the AoA, and that although developing countries may not be legally constrained to invest in food security, they lack the financial, human, and institutional resources to do so.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series TMD discussion papers with number 82.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:tmddps:82

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Keywords: World Trade Organization ; Poverty alleviation ; food security ; trade liberalization ;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nouve, Kofi & Staatz, John M., 2003. "The Food Security Debate In West Africa Following The Wto Agreements On Agriculture," Staff Papers 11746, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Ecker, Olivier & Breisinger, Clemens & McCool, Christen & Diao, Xinshen & Funes, Jose & You, Liangzhi & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Assessing food security in Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 982, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Zhang, Xiaobo & Rockmore, Marc & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2007. "A typology for vulnerability and agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 734, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Shreedhar, Ganga, 2012. "Economic development, external shocks, and food security in Tajikistan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1163, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Ernesto Zedillo & Patrick Messerlin & Julia Nielson, 2005. "Trade for Development. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8367, Sciences Po.

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