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Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and smart contracts provide a unique opportunity to bring greater efficiency, transparency and traceability to the exchange of value and information in the agriculture sector. By utilising digital records, cryptography and the disintermediation of transaction processing and data storage, DLTs can improve both agricultural supply chains and rural development interventions in a number of ways. The technology has the potential to simplify and integrate agricultural supply chains, enhance food safety, facilitate access to trade finance and other types of agricultural financial services, improve market transparency, provide greater legal certainty to land-tenure systems and strengthen accountability for compliance with international agreements related to agriculture. This paper aims to facilitate a better understanding of the opportunities, benefits and applications of DLTs in agri-foods. It explores the potential of DLTs to address many of the challenges that disadvantaged market players face by participating in integrated supply chains. It also identifies the technical limits, possible institutional barriers to their adoption and the way forward for the public sector. Overall, it shows how DLTs can be an impetus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How to use the WTO instruments in the interests of agribusiness – A guide
[Available in Russian]

This guide provides an overview of instruments used in the WTO agreements which apply to trade in agricultural goods such as Agreement on Agriculture, Agreement on Application of SPS Measures, Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Facilitation Agreement, and Understanding on Dispute Settlement. This publication provides agribusiness a broad set of trade and transparency instruments that can be used to improve market access opportunities. Transparency instruments in these agreements are useful for agribusiness in export market research and analysis. Trade remedies instruments and procedures are used to safeguard producers from unfair trade practices. Trade facilitation instruments improve administrative and customs procedures at all levels. This publication is part of a collection of knowledge resources for the FAO Regional Initiative on Improving Agrifood Trade and Market Integration in Europe and Central Asia.

Regional Initiatives for Europe and Central Asia

FAO ’s three Regional Initiatives for Europe and Central Asia address interlinked issues to ensure the contribution of agriculture to achieve the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals. For this reason, technical teams in the region and at FAO headquarters work in close collaboration to support countries in achieving their goals.

Initiatives 1 and 3 complement each other on ensuring that smallholders and family farmers share equitably in the benefits of improved productivity and resilience. Initiatives 2 and 3 work together on creating a policy environment that enables sustainable production and pasture management, on developing investment programmes for Climate-Smart Agriculture, on organic farming, and on reducing food losses and waste.

Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in the post-Soviet countries 2016-17
[Available in Russian]

This review is the third in a series of publications devoted to the analysis of agricultural trade and trade policies in the post-Soviet countries. The purpose of the review is to study trends in the agri-food foreign trade and to monitor the latest policy changes in trade policies of these countries that affect its dynamics and structure. This publication also includes a chapter on review of strategies and programs on export promotion of agricultural goods developed by post-Soviet countries. In order to diversify agricultural markets in 2016-2017, many post-Soviet countries have intensified the development of such policy documents, considering the increase in exports, as a factor contributing to economic growth in the sector.

Trade Policy Brief (31): The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture

Summary of outcomes for agriculture and fisheries of the Eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11), held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 13 to 13 December 2017.

Trade Policy Technical Notes (21): Trade and Nutrition

This technical note explores the impact of trade on nutrition, addressing the role of trade in the “nutrition transition” and the extent to which trade policies affect nutritional objectives.

Citrus fruits statistics 2017
This is the 2017 edition of the annual compilation of statistics related to the international production, trade, and processing into juice of citrus fruits with grower and wholesale prices. The fruits covered are oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit. The statistics are disaggregated by fruit, by year, by region and by country from 2008 to 2016.

Food Outlook - Biannual report on global food markets
Food commodity markets remain well supplied but the cost of importing food is set to rise by 6 percent from last year’s level to reach USD 1.413 trillion in 2017. Sharp increases in freight rates, stronger import demand and firmer prices of most food commodities are expected to elevate the global food import bill to its second highest level on record.

A market summary of the report is now available in Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish and Chinese.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026

The thirteenth joint edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides market projections for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish. The 2017 report contains a special feature on the prospects for, and challenges facing, Southeast Asia. 

Fortalecer las políticas sectoriales para mejorar los resultados en materia de seguridad alimentaria y nutrición

Esta nota de orientación se pretende apoyar a los formuladores de las políticas y a las partes interesadas del sector agrícola a la hora de fomentar una mayor coherencia entre las políticas comerciales y las agrícolas, y de identificar el espacio normativo dentro de los acuerdos comerciales para que los países en desarrollo aborden sus preocupaciones por la seguridad alimentaria. También examina la idoneidad de varias medidas de políticas comerciales para mejorar la seguridad alimentaria.

Comercio y normas alimentarias
En esta publicación se explica cómo se establecen las normas internacionales sobre inocuidad de los alimentos por medio de la Comisión del Codex Alimentarius del Programa Conjunto FAO/OMS sobre Normas Alimentarias y cómo se aplican dichas normas en el marco del Acuerdo sobre la Aplicación de Medidas Sanitarias y Fitosanitarias (Acuerdo MSF) y el Acuerdo sobre Obstáculos Técnicos al Comercio (Acuerdo OTC) de la OMC.

Disponible en árabe, chino y ruso.

What did we learn from the bout of high and volatile food commodity prices (2007-2013)?
This research paper looks at the crisis in international agricultural markets during the last decade and draws out some lessons. Although crop prices continue to be volatile, the bout of high prices/high volatility ended by 2015. The initial rapid rise of prices was not predicted, and surprised both market players and the international community more broadly. Considerable policy attention was focused on the crisis – by the UN broadly, by FAO and its members, by G20 heads, agricultural groups, and national governments.

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025
Special focus: Sub-Saharan Africa
The 2016 edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides an assessment of the mediumterm prospects of global agriculture. The report highlights that for the sector to meet the expanding demand for food, feed and raw products for industrial uses, significant production growth is needed.

Agricultural Trade Policies in the Post-Soviet Countries 2014/15: A Summary
The document is based on the publication Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in post-Soviet countries 2014-15. In the 2013-2014 period, most countries in the region registered a negative foreign trade balance in agrifood products (HS codes 1-24). The largest deficit in this product category was recorded in the Russian Federation, which had an average annual deficit over the two years of USD 23.9 billion.

Report of the Working Group on Climate Change of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea
This compilation of adaptation strategies for tea cultivation developed and practiced by major tea growing countries of the world, is the first step taken by the working group on climate change of the FAO-IGG on tea to minimize climate change impacts on tea plantations. It is a joint effort by the scientists of Tea Research Institute of India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and China supported by the FAO-IGG on tea in Rome.

Home country measures that promote responsible foreign agricultural investment: Evidence from selected OECD countries
This paper summarizes the good practices by nine selected OECD countries that seek to promote responsible foreign investment in developing country agriculture, primarily by investors in their territory or jurisdiction. The study provides examples of the increasing trend of home countries in establishing binding legal norms and other mechanisms as safeguards that are relevant for agricultural investment.

Medium-term prospects for raw materials, horticulture and tropical products
This publication puts the focus on a set of selected Raw materials, Horticulture and Tropical (RAMHOT) Products, namely sugar, tea, banana, tropical fruits, citrus products, Jute, and hard fibres. A medium-term outlook is generated for each of these products, and an analysis is undertaken to assess underlying market drivers and the factors likely to shape market performance over the next 10 years.

How does agricultural trade impact food security?
The links between trade and food security are inherently complex, with several channels of interaction affecting the different dimensions of food security simultaneously. In essence, trade, influenced by the economic context and sectoral composition of growth, directly affects key domestic variables like food production, prices, employment and government revenues.

Policy brief | Trade and related policies for decent rural employment
The agriculture sector accounts for the majority of employment and output in most developing countries. Trade in agricultural products has the potential to significantly impact rural employment, incomes and poverty, by affecting the availability and price of food, as well as wages in this sector. 

Policy brief | Agricultural trade and decent rural employment
Agriculture is the largest employer of the world’s poor, most of whom live in rural areas. As developing economies grow, and undergo structural transformation, employment tends to shift away from agriculture into other sectors, such as industry or services.

Jute, Kenaf, Sisal, Abaca, Coir and Allied Fibres Statistics, December 2015
Information relating to the production, marketing, trade and consumption of jute, kenaf and allied fibres are tabulated and presented in this bulletin. This information is used by the IGG Secretariat to analyze national policies and their international effects as well as supply and demand position and its probable development in the short and medium terms.

Review of Agricultural Trade Policies in former Soviet Union countries 2014-15 [available in Russian only]
This publication has been prepared as part of the FAO Regional initiatives in Europe and Central Asia "Development of agricultural trade and market integration in Europe and in Central Asia.

Analysis of the size and distribution of the impacts of agricultural trade at the firm and industry levels in developing countries
The main purpose of the studies compiled in this report was to analyse the size and distribution of trade impacts among heterogeneous agrotrading firms in developing countries, with special attention given to the role of the organization and behaviour of these firms.

Climate Change and Food Systems: Global assessments and implications for food security and trade
This book collects the findings of a group of scientists and economists who have taken stock of climate change impacts on food and agriculture at global and regional levels over the past two decades. 

Also available as an ebook

    

Russia’s restrictions on imports of agricultural and food products: An initial assessment
On 7 August 2014 Russia announced a ban on food imports from Western countries which, in an earlier move, had imposed sanctions on Russian business interests in connection with the crisis in eastern Ukraine. 

Policy responses to high food prices in Latin America and the Caribbean: Country case studies
This publication presents evidence on the effectiveness of policies and programmes introduced in response to rising food prices in eight Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

Countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States: Agricultural policy issues in the context of the World Trade Organization
This report examines the experience and main issues of twelve of these countries in the context of the rules and commitments in agriculture under the World Trade Organization (WTO). ENGLISH |  RUSSIAN

Import surges and the Special Safeguard Mechanism revisited
This Technical Note revisits the analysis presented in Technical Note No. 9, updating data used in the identification of Import Surges to 2013 to capture recent changes in the global market context of higher and more volatile food prices and significant increases in volumes of imports to food deficit developing countries

Smallholder participation in the tropical superfruits value chain: ensuring equitable share of the success to enhance their livelihood
The production and trade of tropical fruits generate income, improving the livelihoods and food security of producers, who are almost exclusively smallholders in developing countries.

El Paquete de Bali: repercusiones para el comercio y la seguridad alimentaria En este informe se explica de forma concisa el paquete de Bali y se hace especial referencia a aquellos elementos que tienen consecuencias directas para el comercio y las políticas afines encaminadas a mejorar la seguridad alimentaria.

Rebuilding West Africa’s Food Potential: Policies and private initiatives to promote smallholder-inclusive food value chains
This book contains a large number of in-depth case studies of food value chains, including traditional export commodities (cocoa, cotton), high value exports (mangoes, horticulture) and the most important staple food value chains in the region.

Food Security in Africa: Market and Trade Policy for Staple Foods in Eastern and Southern Africa
Drawing on insights from theoretical applications, empirically based approaches and case study experience, this book contributes to the improved design and use of trade and related policy interventions in staple food markets.

G-33 proposal: early agreement on elements of the draft Doha accord to address food security
Some developing countries have proposed that WTO rules should be changed to allow them more flexibility to purchase food at subsidized prices under public stockholding or domestic food aid programmes. This short information note, published jointly by ICTSD and the FAO, looks at how rules, policies and practices in this area can affect trade and food security, in the run-up to the global trade body’s ninth ministerial conference this December

Smallholder integration in changing food markets
A key message of this report is that without better understanding the determinants of smallholders’ participation in agricultural markets, and formulating appropriate measures to facilitate improved participation, initiatives seeking to promote the adoption of productivity enhancing technology by smallholder producers are likely to have limited success