Food Security and Trade Policy Expert Meeting: What kind of trade policy framework is needed to support food security goals?

25 March 2010 to 26 March 2010
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Cartigny, Switzerland

While food insecurity and malnutrition have remained persistent development challenges in many developing countries over a period of several decades, new challenges may have exacerbated existing problems - including oil price volatility, supply and demand imbalances, harvest failures associated with changing climatic conditions, biofuel policies and currency fluctuations, amongst other things. At the same time, the existing trade policy framework – permitting high levels of developed country subsidies, high tariff barriers on many ‘sensitive’ farm products, weak disciplines on export restrictions, and limited flexibility for developing countries to protect themselves from cheap, often subsidised, imports – is one of a number of important factors that arguably have prevented developing countries from making the investments necessary to enhance agricultural productivity and food security. This dialogue sought to identify an agenda for research and action on concrete trade policy options that developed and developing country governments could pursue to mitigate the impacts of short-term disruptions and enhance food security in the long term.

Several of the presentations are posted below.

Issues and Perspectives on Food Security, Kostas Stamoulis (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization)

Trends in Agricultural Trade, Pete Liapis (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)

Farm Policies of Developed Countries, Timothy Josling (Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University)

Food Security and Price Volatility, Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla (Inter-American Development Bank)