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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: The 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) and its significance for food security in Africa

Aklilu Nigussie
Aklilu Nigussie Ethiopian Institutes of Agricultural ResearchEthiopia

1. Do you think the provisions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) provide sufficient policy space for domestic support for countries in Africa? Why or why not?

I don't think so because the African agricultural market is dominated with small scale and it is yet to be mechanised in use of different infrastructure and innovation. Here the basic thing to be considered is the land holding of households in Sub Saharan Africa. So the WTO organization advocates policies of free trade; though it gives special safeguard provision, domestic support commitments and market access yet this can't be sufficient policy space because it needs change in the farming community with parameters that can pull the out from their vicious circle of poverty and feron/firon /pheroahnians farming sytem plowing with animal. Even though the WTO tries its best to create a good environment in the world market, the policy makers in Africa are tied only on their dynastical policy than the innovative system to create productivity for the small scale producers.

2. In your opinion, do export restrictions enhance or undermine food security in African countries? Should the WTO disciplines on export restrictions be stricter or allow greater flexibility?

The two ways could be balanced. In case of export restriction the domestic market can boom out because supplies are avail with good price for consumers at the domestic market but this can also affect the price of the supplier and the gain of foreign exchange to the national economy. Yet; food security can be attained in the short run but it will have its residual effect on the long run.

On the other hand export restriction can affect the market price for competitive gain for the suppliers. So the supplier might not gain the cost from the revenue for profitability and promotion to increase productivity in the long run.

For the WTO should have a flexible export policy but this doesn't have to compromise quality and arbitrage.

3. What efforts can be made at the multilateral level, to complement regional integration efforts? In your opinion, are there some policy areas that are better addressed at the multilateral level, and others at the regional level?

Integration should be comparative and absolute advantage of regions with infrastructural effectiveness to ease access to market. Integration should not be always having an equilibrium advantage but the balanced one is good and it can smooth the integration system at alarming forward. Here there are integration factors so try to solve those factors at micro and macro level can enhance the development.