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Policy coherence and food security: The effects of OECD countries’ agricultural policies

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  • Brooks, Jonathan
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    There have been important changes to agricultural policies in many OECD countries over the past decade and the international spill-over effects of support and protection have diminished. Now would be a good time to eliminate remaining distortions and put in place more efficient alternatives, including social safety nets and tools to help farmers manage risk. This would lock in the benefits of reform and simultaneously address charges of policy incoherence. In the context of high food prices, new issues have emerged with potential implications for food security. They include export restrictions, the use of biofuel mandates, and the opportunities and threats presented by increased foreign investment in agriculture. On these issues, as well as in terms of conventional support mechanisms, policies in emerging economies (in particular the BRIICS) are increasingly important. A pro-active agenda for policy coherence would involve not just eliminating policies that distort trade, but also enacting positive measures to increase food availability, for example by raising agricultural productivity, using resources sustainably, and eliminating waste and over-consumption. Across countries, there are important gains to be realised from knowledge sharing, and from multilateral action to provide global public goods – not least smoother functioning of the multilateral trading system.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 88-94

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:44:y:2014:i:c:p:88-94
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.10.006
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    1. Anderson, Kym & Nelgen, Signe, 2012. "Trade Barrier Volatility and Agricultural Price Stabilization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 36-48.
    2. Darryl Jones & Andrzej Kwieciński, 2010. "Policy Responses in Emerging Economies to International Agricultural Commodity Price Surges," OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers 34, OECD Publishing.
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