A workshop on trade policies supportive of food security in low-income developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) took place in Geneva on 13 July 2016 at the World Trade Organisation. The event was co-organised by the FAO and IDEAS Centre. This targeted seminar was supported by the Permanent Missions of Benin, Morocco and Rwanda – the coordinators of the LDC group, African group and ACP group – and destined to the members of those groups.
Most of those countries have a large potential to increase the productivity and production of their farm sector. A great majority of the rural population in those countries are small farmers which work and produce near subsistence level. Any food security policy in those countries has to put a great emphasis on an increase in their productivity and production.
Food security cannot be attained by food self-sufficiency: (i) natural calamities happen and lead to local food shortages; (ii) food security is as much as poverty issue an issue of availability of food: income increases for the small farmers require them to produce those products for which they obtain the highest return, rather than the products they need to feed their families; (iii) LIDCs and LDCs (and particularly NFIDCs) are dependent (and increasingly so) on food supplies from the outside to feed their population and are integrated into the global food and agricultural markets.
Trade policies (both internal and external) have thus an important role in any food security strategy.
Given the high importance of this issue for LIDCs and LDCs, the FAO and IDEAS Centre organized a targeted session on the subject for this particular constituency.
The objective of the targeted seminar was to provide access to fact-based information about the effect of various trade policies on food security and elements of the international framework that are conducive to food security policies in those countries. The workshop started with a presentation by FAO on the Trade and food security Nexus: Specific issues of the LDCs and African Region. The seminar then put emphasis on the presentation of researchers from the South on the analysis of concrete policies implemented in LIDCs and LDCs. Dr Antony Chapoto made a presentation on Managing Trade For Food Security: Experiences From East and Southern Africa. References to the work of Ephraim W. Chirwa (who could not be present) about Under What Circumstances Can the Use of Price Policy Contribute to Improved Food Security were also made during the session.
To access to PPT presentations, click on the titles.
Those presentations were followed by a panel discussion with H.E. Dr François-Xavier Ngarambe, Ambassador, Permanent representative of the Republic of Rwanda, ACP Coordinator, and H.E.M Mohamed Auajjar, Ambassador, Permanent representative of the Kingdom of Morocco, African Group coordinator. Speeches are available here (H.E. Dr Ngarambe and H.E.M Aouajjar).
The targeted seminar was concluded with a very stimulating discussion with the audience.