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The Case for a Food Security Box in the AoA ODI seminar, 27June 2001 Duncan Green, CAFOD

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Presentation on theme: "The Case for a Food Security Box in the AoA ODI seminar, 27June 2001 Duncan Green, CAFOD"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Case for a Food Security Box in the AoA ODI seminar, 27June 2001 Duncan Green, CAFOD

2 But first, an urgent plea for help zSouth Centre needs (unpaid) help on input to phase 2 of AoA talks zSeptember: Rural Development, Green Box, Blue Box, Geographical Indicators zDecember: Food Aid, Environment, Trade Preferences, Consumer information and labelling zNeed to be familiar with WTO and the issue

3 The WTO System zMost Favoured Nation zNational Treatment zDispute Settlement Mechanism zConsensus Decision-Making zFree market theory v mercantilist practice z15 agreements in 1995, including ag for first time

4 The Agreement on Agriculture z3 Pillars yMarket Access (increase) yDomestic Support (reduce) yExport Subsidies (reduce) yAnd several boxes…….

5 Implementation Period z5 years for developed countries (2000) z9 years for developing countries (2004) zincrease/reduction commitments do not apply to 43 Least Developed Countries zNew round of talks to begin in early 2000 (now under way in Geneva)

6 Special and Differential Treatment zLonger implementation periods zLDCs exempt zCompensation promised for higher food prices zExemptions for developing country investment subsidies (if available to all) and for input subsidies to small farmers

7 Why are developing countries unhappy? zUS domestic support has increased zEU export subsidies have increased zimport surges following liberalisation ztariff peaks, tariff escalation and non-tariff barriers/ trade harassment have stopped them exporting zMarrakech decision never implemented

8 What needs to change: Developed Country end zReduce tariff peaks and escalation zReduce use of non-tariff barriers and trade harassment zReduce blanket support to farmers, or accept compensatory export taxes to ensure fair world prices zImplement Marrakech Decision

9 Household Food Security and the WTO zProduction: restrictions on government support to small farmers zTrade (Producers): import surges and price falls, further tariff reductions likely; northern protectionism zTrade (Consumers): liberalisation hasnt always led to price falls to consumers - competition issues

10 Household Food Security and the WTO (contd) zLabour: hit by same probs as domestic production, plus northern barriers to agroexports zTransfers: Governments have lost tariff revenue, plus restrictions eg on food aid purchases

11 Features of a Development Box zWhats in a name? Development v Food Security zDifferent rules for small farmers (precedent exists in the AoA) zDifferent rules for food security crops ycrops which are either staple foods, or which are the main sources of livelihood for low- income and resource-poor (LI/RP) farmers.

12 Why small farmers? zThe most ignored at WTO level (eg Brazil and the Philippines are in the Cairns Group!) zOften the main staple food producers zAmong the poorest zLeast able to benefit from export openings zHistorically, they have played a central role in equitable development paths

13 Why food security crops? zDeveloping countries now in food deficit zFood demand increase in next 20 years will be in developing countries zExport weakness means dependence on imported food increases FX constraints zFood production generates more jobs than agroexports

14 Why food security crops? (contd) zFood aid is conditional and comes at the wrong time zCountries should be able to protect culturally significant crops zDomestic production can maintain biodiversity

15 The Development Box zA lot of jargon which boils down to: yGreater flexibility on government support for small farmers and food security crops yGreater flexibility for government protection against import surges of food security crops yAllow governments to purchase food security crops for local distribution at stable, above- market prices ylink liberalisation commitments to reduction in northern protection and subsidy

16 Why Does the Development Box matter? zAt a national level, SAPs and RTAs have greater policy impact zbut AoA brings greater lock-in zfurther negotiations could start to bite zWTO has important agenda-setting role zDevelopment Box challenges WTO assumption of liberalisation as end in itself zPart of general demand for enhanced S&D

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