The Impact of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture on Food Security in Developing Countries

Free trade has become a modern-day creed, accepted by both wealthy industrialized countries and many governments of developing countries as the generator of economic growth, development and employment. However, free trade has also been condemned by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries as the tool through which the economic dominance of wealthy, developed countries is institutionalized and maintained. Agriculture has been one of the most controversial issues in the multilateral trade negotiations for the past fifty years. The aim of this article is to examine food security implications of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. It discusses the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, which is systematically favoring agricultural producers in industrialized countries at the expense of farmers in developing countries, and explores ways in which the Agreement may be modified to achieve a more equal chance for success for both parties. The article also deals with the extent to which realization of the Agreement’s stated objective – the establishment of a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system—is likely to advance food security in developing countries. The first section defines food security, discusses the relationship between trade and food security, and analyzes the impact of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture on food security in developing countries. The second section sets forth the reforms necessary to address inequities in the global trading system for agricultural commodities, and enhance and protect food security in developing countries. The last section concludes that leveling the playing field between industrialized and developing countries is a necessity, but not sufficient to promote food security. Promotion of food security requires additional trade reforms, so as to provide developing countries with a wide range of solutions and ensure access by all people at all times to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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