Parts I and II have examined theories and concepts relevant to the relationship between trade liberalization and food security, and discussed a range of current debates that are informing contemporary research questions. In Part III, the effects of economic reform, of which trade liberalization is a part, are examined in studies covering four broad groups of countries: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Transition Economies. The objectives of these studies are to identify systemic differences across regions in terms of the type and degree of reform, and their impacts on agricultural performance; and to highlight specific issues which might be analysed in further research.
Chapter 11 comprises two main sections. It first provides a brief review of the types of methodological approach used to examine the relationship between trade and economic reform and food security. The chapter then summarizes the evidence and interpretations from the four succeeding chapters.
Chapter 12 reviews evidence of the impact of economic liberalization, primarily through structural adjustment programmes, on levels of agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Contrasting with the arguments put forward in Chapter 8, it develops the thesis that it is because reforms have not been fully liberalized that responses within the sector have been lower than expected, rather than inadequacies in the design of the reform programmes themselves.
In reviewing the evidence from a selection of Asian countries, Chapter 13 describes a more positive picture of the contribution that trade and economic reforms have had on agricultural supply response and indirectly on indicators of food security. The chapter stresses, however, the central role that the state has maintained in supporting the sector during the process of reform.
Chapter 14 examines the impact of trade reforms on sectoral performance and food security in Latin America. The chapter begins by stressing that trade liberalization, whilst prominent, occurred in the context of structural reforms, macroeconomic adjustments, deregulation and privatization and that the impacts strongly reflect this country-specific context.
Finally, Chapter 15 introduces an additional set of factors that have determined the success of trade and wider economic and systemic reforms in the formerly centrally planned economies. Using China as a comparator, the chapter draws attention to the importance of the initial state of the sector and level of development of the country as a whole, and to the impact of policy design and sequencing on the success and on the magnitude of change in the agriculture sectors of these countries