Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Agriculture: Future Scenarios for Southern Africa – Ensuring Food Security through Trade Policy

The report contextualizes the global debate on food security and trade policy instruments in the Southern African Development Community. Its purpose is to outline broad impacts that global scenarios bring to bear on staple foods, consumed, whether grown in, imported into or exported from the region and will serves as a base for four country briefings and regional scenarios report. Cutting trade distorting agricultural subsidies in a substantial way and import tariffs on agricultural products can contribute to a better connection between supply and demand for food and feeds, stabilizing prices and creating incentives for boosting farm production in Africa. The argument for supporting agricultural subsidies in developed countries specifically as a way of ensuring continued food supplies to poor countries is weak because sound economics indicates that equally important to access to food is the domestic capability of Africa’s large rural population to produce food because it is a catalyst for positive gains from trade and contributes to national employment. The report concludes that there is great pressure on African governments to release land to commercial producers, both domestic and foreign, for food and biofuels production which creates substantial political challenges regarding land control and ownership not mention the strain that this will have on commodity feed stocks. For more visit:http://www.tradeknowledgenetwork.net/pdf/ag_scenarios_south_africa_sec_trade.pdf

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