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FAO/Mozambique International Sugar Conference

Sugar and development in Africa and the world: sustainability, diversification and trade

Maputo, Mozambique, 10-12 October 2002

The theme for the third international sugar conference organized by the Sugar and Beverages Group (ESCR) was Sugar and Development in Africa and the World: Sustainability, Diversification and Trade. The conference was hosted by the Government of Mozambique, jointly organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Instituto Nacional do Açúcar) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and supported by the International Sugar Organization (ISO) and the Associação dos Produtores de Açúcar de Moçambique (APAMO). Participants included 115 delegates from 23 countries, as well as numerous representatives from both the private and public sectors from Mozambique and other nations with a particular interest in sugar production, marketing, research and trade.

The Conference opened with a global perspective of sugar and development, on-going policy reforms and structural adjustments on the world sugar market, quantitative market outlook to 2010 and implications for the world's sugar producing and consuming nations. Representatives from private and public sectors addressed some of the fundamentals in the world sugar market and evaluated policy options for the longer term sustainability of the global sugar economy.

Participants were given an opportunity to assess the international policy framework and key issues shaping the future of world and African sugar markets, with presentations of the major world sugar policies (the EC, US, Brazil) and consideration of the multilateral trade negotiations. Several growers and traders provided their unique perspectives as to sustainability, diversification and trade, plus privatization and diversification strategies were presented.

The Conference examined those factors that contribute to the sustainability and long term competitiveness of sugar production, as well as diversification strategies and options for producers who may need to improve their overall competitive situation. Development issues of regional relevance were also addressed during a session dedicated to the sugar economy of Southern Africa. Presentations were made by well known international authorities and experts on the key subjects of the Conference, and participants had the opportunity to discuss each issue in-depth in planned roundtable sessions.