Trade and food security
The relationship between trade policy reforms and food security has been a topic of long-standing debate, resulting in considerable divergences in views on issues such as food self-sufficiency and trade orientation. Research and experience shows that the nature and magnitude of the linkage depends upon many factors, such as the pace and sequencing of the reform measures, the availability and quality of physical and human resources and how well markets are functioning.
Assisting developing countries in implementing current trade agreements and in preparing for trade negotiations through studies, analysis and training is a core activity of the Trade and Markets Division. The implementation of the WTO Uruguay Round agricultural agreement and support to the negotiations under the Doha Round agricultural agreement have been prominent activities in this area. read more...
There are over 300 regional trade agreements (RTAs), defined broadly to include free trade areas, customs unions and preferential trade agreements. While agriculture is an integral part of these agreements, the treatment of agriculture in the RTAs has been a divisive policy issue. The primary challenge is seen as one of successfully integrating substantially all agricultural products into the RTAs. With a particular focus on staple food commodities in Africa, FAO supports Members with analysis and technical assistance in their efforts towards increased and mutually beneficial intra-regional trade.
Standards and certification
The adoption of more sustainable practices in agricultural production and trade is a primary concern. Voluntary standards and certification systems may benefit farmers and farm workers, as they can potentially lead to increased return on their labour, better working conditions and longer term environmental improvement. read more...