Food security and the WTO

Food security and the WTO

How government policy can impact on food security

The link between multilateral rules and the food security of individuals is often indirect, and the data required to forecast the effects of change are often lacking. This Briefing provides a road map from the deliberations in Geneva to the potential effects on the ground. It identifies the priority aspects of the Agreement on Agriculture that must be negotiated in such a way as to foster food security. And it notes the characteristics of the states that are most food insecure.

Areas in which government policy can impact on food security:

  • food production (e.g. input credit and subsidies, capital expenditure and investment promotion)
  • marketing (e.g. market development, parastatal reform and food price stabilisation)
  • labour (e.g. promotion of high-value export crops and small and medium enterprises)
  • transfers and safety nets (e.g. labour-intensive public works programmes and targeted feeding programmes)
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