Dear participants, I would like to welcome you to the discussion: “Examining the linkages between trade and food security: What is your experience?” I hope that we will have a very fruitful and interesting debate. This is not an easy topic, and country experiences with trade in relation to food security objectives vary a lot. But that is precisely why it is important to have the different views heard and use the rich experience in the countries (both positive and negative) to develop viable proposals that governments can take into consideration when designing public policy.
Trade and trade policy affect the four pillars of food security in a very direct way as they affect food availability and the relative prices of goods and factors of production. But trade in itself is neither a threat no a panacea when it comes to food security, but it certainly poses challenges and even risks that need to be considered in a debate, supported by proper analysis.
Food security is high on the political agenda these days, not only at the national level, but also in global processes, such as WTO negotiations, G-20, development of Sustainable Development Goals. The moment is therefore ripe for having this discussion on the implications of trade and trade policy for food security, and I am looking forward to hearing your views. As a facilitator, I will do my best to provide relevant inputs and steer the discussion towards constructive outcomes.