Trade and markets
 

Support to Russian agriculture in the context of WTO membership: Issues and possible solutions

20 – 21 November 2013, Belgorod, Russia

The recent accession of Russia to the WTO has brought into focus the potential implications of the changes in border measures and domestic support for Russian agriculture and food systems. In order to assist the Russian government in analyzing and coping with these changes, FAO is conducting a workshop “WTO commitments and support to Russian agriculture: issues and possible solutions”. This is the second workshop of this kind, the first one was held in Kazan in January 2013.

The main objectives of the workshop are to identify and discuss the key areas of concern facing the agriculture sector in relation to the commitments on agricultural subsidies made on accession to the WTO and to draw on lessons from international experience in fulfilling commitments on subsidies while providing the necessary government support to the development of agriculture. Invited speakers from a number of other WTO members will present and discuss how their countries have, in adapting agricultural and trade policies, addressed similar concerns and issues to those facing Russia.

The target audience is approximately 100 representatives of regional authorities within the Ministry of Agriculture. The workshop will serve as a basis for future FAO training activities in Russia and other CIS countries, identifying key capacity development and analytical support requirements.  

Sessions

• Session 1 of the workshop will briefly recap the key areas of change required to bring agricultural and trade policy in line with the UR AoA and in particular with Russia’s specific commitments.
• Session 2 will identify the main issues of concern to agriculture sector stakeholders. 
• Sessions 3 and 4 will then seek to identify how other WTO members, including recently acceded countries, have, in adapting their agricultural and trade policies, addressed similar concerns and issues. A special session will discuss the experience of other countries with providing fertilizer subsidies, their pros and cons and applicability to Russia.
• Session 5, participants will work to map experience from other countries to the issues facing Russian agriculture.  Finally, Session 6 will identify possible solutions and steps that need to be taken to ensure that implementation is in line with commitments, while recognizing national objectives.