11-я Конференция ВТО на уровне министров и ее значение для продовольственной безопасности в Африке

Through the 2014 Malabo Declaration, African governments made a specific and clear commitment to boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services, and to harnessing market and trade opportunities locally, regionally, and internationally. This is increasingly regarded as a means to promote agricultural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), to help address the key challenges in the region related to agricultural development such as diverse agro-ecological systems and small national markets.

At the same time, the relationship between trade and food security is attracting increased attention on both the trade and the development agendas. The eradication of global hunger by 2030 is a key goal in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and trade is recognized as one of the means for achieving the SDGs. The challenge is how to ensure that the expansion of agricultural trade works for and not against, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. This challenge has been at the forefront as governments’ struggle to negotiate the changes to the current global agreements on agricultural trade that allow sufficient flexibility to countries to pursue their individual needs.

Ahead of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires from 10 to 13 December 2017, FAO and IFPRI, through the FSN Forum and the IFPRI Food Security Portal, are joining forces to provide a platform to share knowledge and exchange views on the significance of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference for Africa.

This is an opportunity to increase awareness on the linkages between trade and food security, and on the significance of the WTO agreements in relation to these linkages.

We invite all interested FSN Forum members and colleagues to join this debate on the FSN Forum (open from 20 November to 8 December) and on the IFPRI Africa South of the Sahara Food Security Portal (on the 27 November) reflecting on the following questions:

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?

The general approach of the Agreement on Agriculture with regard to domestic support is to allow unlimited support through policies that meet certain criteria (Green Box, Blue Box and Development Box)[1]. Support through other policies is subject to limits. Countries that have a positive Bound Total AMS[2] in their Schedule of Commitments, have space to provide non-exempt support up to the Bound Total AMS ceiling. Most developing countries, however, have a Bound Total AMS of zero. This generally limits their AMS support to their 10% de minimis levels. Many countries in Africa implement some form of domestic support programmes, such as input subsidies, market price support and public stockholding measures, and support is increasingly geared toward to increasing the adoption of climate-smart practices.

[1] Green Box: Support to agriculture that is allowed without limits because it does not distort trade, or at most causes minimal distortion. It refers to Annex 2 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Blue Box: Support with constraints on production or other conditions designed to reduce distortion. Currently, no limitation is applied to it. Development Box: Certain development measures, allowed without limitation only in developing countries. They are outlined in Article 6.2 of the AoA. 

[2] AMS – Aggregate Measurement of Support: Refers to the calculation of support for agriculture that is considered to distort trade and therefore subject to reduction commitments.

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? 

In the WTO, export restrictions are mainly governed by Article 12 of the Agreement on Agriculture[1], and GATT Article XI[2]Article 12 of the AoA foresees that when any member institutes any new export prohibition or restriction on foodstuffs, in accordance with GATT Article XI, then: advance consideration should be given to the effects upon importing WTO Members’ food security, advance information on the measure, and further information or consultations upon request should be provided. There is an exemption from such requirements for developing countries unless they are net-food exporters of the specific foodstuff concerned. Export restrictions – particularly of key staple commodities – are common policy instruments used in many countries in Africa, to respond to food security concerns; particularly to lower prices and ensure adequate domestic availability of food. However, these policies are often implemented in an ad hoc way, and their impacts on food security at the national vs. the regional levels, and in the short vs. longer terms are debated.

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?

There has been renewed attention to the debate on whether regional trade agreements (RTAs) provide an alternative to the multilateral trading system (MTS), or whether RTAs and the MTS complement each other, in the goal of reducing barriers to trade. While overlapping memberships in the various regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa can create a number of challenges, the RECs have each achieved varying degrees of economic integration, and negotiations for the tripartite free trade area (TFTA) and the continental free trade area (CFTA) aim to further these efforts.

We look forward to an interesting and lively exchange. 

Georgios Mermigkas and Ishrat Gadhok
FAO Trade and Markets Division

В настоящее время это мероприятие закрыто. Пожалуйста, свяжитесь с [email protected] для получения любой дополнительной информации.

* Нажмите на имя, чтобы ознакомиться с комментариями, оставленными участником, и свяжитесь с ним / ней напрямую
  • Прочитано 17 комментарии
  • Развернуть все

Late contribution - Contribution tardive 

Je souhaite insister à propos des risques encourus par une population locale face à une concurrence extérieure. 

Si le développement intra-africain ou transfrontalier est un gage de développement, celui ci, doit être régularisé. En outre, des pays non africains pourraient profiter de la situation.

Cette régularisation doit intégrer divers paramètres tant économiques que sociaux.

L’économie africaine souffre déjà de l’importation de ces besoins primaires vitaux.

Le riz en est un exemple.

Il est donc primordial d’adopter une stratégie qui favorise et non fragilise l’existant.

La méthodologie doit intégrer un processus pyramidal c’est à dire basé sur des logiques de micro économie

Alain Gramon

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.


Georgios Mermigkas and Ishrat Gadhok

facilitators of the discussion, FAO

French translation below 

Dear participants,

We would like to thank you all for engaging in a lively discussion on some topical issues for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires (MC11), such as policy space for domestic support, disciplines on export restrictions, and the complementarity between multilateral and regional integration efforts. Your articulate and thought-provoking contributions provided a range of views and insights on these issues, and more generally, on the significance of trade and trade policies for food security and nutrition in Africa.

FAO, in collaboration with key partners, will be hosting and participating in a number of side events at MC11 this week. We encourage those who are accredited to join us at any of the events listed here: http://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-events-new/ministerial-conference/en/. This will be an excellent opportunity to continue the dialogue that was started on this forum.

In support of MC11 negotiations, FAO has also recently launched a series of briefs which some of you may find interesting: http://www.fao.org/economic/est/publications/trade-policy-briefs/en/. These cover topics such as the changing patterns of agricultural trade; evolution of import tariffs and issue of tariff escalation; agricultural export restrictions; trade and food standards; and many others.

Finally, FAO has recently launched an e-learning course “Trade, Food Security and Nutrition”, which delves into many of the themes raised in this discussion forum. We encourage interested participants to take this self-paced interactive course through the FAO E-learning Centre: http://www.fao.org/elearning/#/elc/en/course/TFSN, and also to check back for our next e-learning course “Agriculture in Trade Agreements” which focuses on the treatment of agriculture in multilateral as well as regional trade agreements.

Once again, thank you all for a quality debate on this topic!

Georgios Mermigkas and Ishrat Gadhok


Chers participants,

Nous tenons à vous remercier tous d'avoir participé à un débat animé sur certaines questions d'actualité en vue de la 11e Conférence ministérielle de l'OMC qui se tiendra à Buenos Aires (CM11), notamment l'espace politique pour le soutien interne, les disciplines sur les restrictions à l'exportation et la complémentarité entre les efforts d'intégration à l’échelle multilatérale et régionale. Vos contributions éclairées et stimulantes ont fourni un large éventail de points de vue et d'idées sur ces questions et, plus globalement, sur l'importance des politiques commerciales pour la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition en Afrique.

La FAO, en collaboration avec ses principaux partenaires, accueillera et participera à un certain nombre d'événements parallèles à la CM11 cette semaine. Nous encourageons les personnes accréditées à se joindre à nous et à participer à l'un des événements énumérés ci-après: www.fao.org/economic/est/est-events-new/ministerial-conference/fr. Ce sera une excellente occasion de poursuivre le dialogue entamé sur ce forum.

À l'appui des négociations de la CM11, la FAO a également lancé récemment une série de notes de synthèse que certains d'entre vous pourraient trouver intéressantes: www.fao.org/economic/est/publications/trade-policy-briefs/fr. Ces notes couvrent des sujets tels que l'évolution de la structure du commerce agricole, l'évolution des droits de douane à l'importation et la progressivité des droits de douane, les restrictions à l'exportation agricole, les normes commerciales et alimentaires, et bien d'autres.

Enfin, la FAO a récemment lancé un cours d'apprentissage en ligne "Commerce, sécurité alimentaire et nutrition", qui aborde plusieurs des thèmes abordés dans ce forum de discussion. Nous encourageons les participants intéressés à suivre ce cours interactif à leur rythme par le biais du Centre d'apprentissage en ligne de la FAO: www.fao.org/elearning/#/elc/en/course/TFSN, et à revenir sur notre prochain cours d'apprentissage en ligne "Agriculture dans les accords commerciaux" axé sur le traitement de l'agriculture dans les accords commerciaux multilatéraux et régionaux.

Encore une fois, merci à tous pour le débat de qualité que vous avez tenu sur ce sujet!

Georgios Mermigkas et Ishrat Gadhok




English translation below 

Toutes les actions doivent s’inscrire dans une dynamique globale d’amélioration du niveau de vie. Les producteurs agricoles constituent la population active la plus nombreuse et la plus marginalisée du système économique du Sénégal. Ce sont également eux qui vivent les effets néfastes de la pauvreté et ses corollaires de problèmes sociaux et économiques.

En impulsant une dynamique d’autopromotion et d’autogestion au sein des communautés villageoises par la mise en place de dispositifs organisationnel du genre sociétés coopératives ceci permettra d’une part l’accroissement des revenus des producteur à travers l’amélioration de leur productivité et le développement de la compétitivité de leurs produit, et d’autre part, de contribuera à créer un environnement favorable à la mobilisation des recettes fiscales au niveau local pour le financement des programme de développement local.

Ainsi, les réflexions et stratégies devront se reposer sur:

1. la mise en œuvre des activités de formation des communautés villageoises sur les techniques de production et de gestion économique des exploitations agricoles à travers l’appui conseil permanent, la réalisation et la diffusion des supports d’information et de sensibilisation et la réalisation des tests variétaux en partenariat avec les institutions de recherche ;

2. l’orientation et l’accompagnement des paysans vers la professionnalisation agricole à travers des activités de sensibilisation et de formation sur l’entrepreneuriat productif, et la mise en place d’un fonds pilote de soutien à la création et au développement de l’entrepreneuriat agricole au niveau locale;

3. la recherche permanente des possibilités d’augmenter la productivité des paysans à travers la vulgarisation des mesures et des techniques d’exploitation, de conservation et de fertilisation des sols et le choix des variétés à forte potentialité économique;

4. la poursuite de l’expérience de la commercialisation à travers la stratégie de la vente groupée en permettant aux coopératives de production, de conservation, de transformation et de commercialisation de démarrer véritablement leurs activités et de mettre en place un mécanisme de veille et d’intermédiation pour la commercialisation des produits agricoles;

5. l’engagement des OP vers son développement institutionnel et son autonomisation financière à travers l’amélioration de la gouvernance par la promotion de la communication interne et externe, par l’adoption de mesures relatives à la contribution et la participation active des paysans.

Par ailleurs, l’analyse du milieu démontre de la nécessité de sensibiliser les producteurs à intégrer leurs charges (familiales, sociales) dans l’élaboration de leur compte d’exploitation. Cette démarche doit permettre de valoriser l’activité a en permettant aux producteurs agricoles de réduire les risques de dépendance sociale. La mise en place de la Mutuelle agricole de Prévoyance Sociale devrait également contribuer à cette vision.

Il faut souligner l’importance du dialogue politique: les politiques (agricole, emploi, sécurité alimentaire) doivent être des politiques inclusives, qui nécessitent une implication de tous les acteurs à la fois dans la planification et dans la mise en œuvre, et notamment les jeunes. Impulser des initiatives innovantes. Ils ont un rôle démonstratif et d’incubateurs pour passer à des politiques structurantes et holistiques agricoles et d’économie rurale, favorisant l’emploi. L’agriculture revêt un caractère transversal et concerne tous les secteurs invite ainsi une meilleur coordination des interventions de tous les intervenants et d’impliquer également les acteurs des exploitations familiales, jeunes, femmes, et développer les partenariats publics-privés en associant les acteurs du monde économique et du secteur privé autour d’objectifs communs. Les politiques mises en place doivent notamment viser à améliorer la base productive avec des mécanismes incitatifs pour l’environnement des affaires, et également un cadre commercial cohérent avec les politiques en œuvre, ainsi que des mesures incitatives pour la compétitivité, pour le coût des infrastructures, pour la sécurisation du foncier (qui n’est pas du ressort du seul ministère de l’agriculture) ; il faut également pousser la structuration autour des filières de produits locaux (existantes ou nouvelles) et des chaines de valeurs. Il y a la nécessité d’accompagner et de soutenir les filières qui existent pour les renforcer ou identifier de nouvelles filières tout en appuyant les filières classiques.



All actions must adhere to the global dynamic of improving the standard of living. The agricultural producers are the largest active population and the most marginalized of the Senegalese economic system. It is them who live the negative impact of poverty and the consequent social and economic problems.

Impulsing and auto-promotion and self-management dynamic at the centre of the village communities by implementing organizational mechanisms like cooperatives which will allow, on one hand, the increase of revenues for the producers through the improvement of their productivity and the development of competitiveness of their products, and on the other, to contribute creating a favorable environment to the movilization of tax revenues at local level for funding local development programs.

Thus, the considerations and strategies must be based on:

1. the implementation of training activities on the village communities on the production techniques and the economic management of agricultural exploitations through the permanent advice support, development and disemination of support information and awareness raising and the development of diversity test in parternship with research institutions;

2. Orientation and support of farmers towards agricultural professionalization through awareness raising and training activities on productive management, and the implementation of pilote fund to support the creation and development of the agricultural entrepreneurship at local level;

3. The permanent research of posibilities of increasing farmers productivity through the popularization of measures and techniques of exploitation, conservation and fertilization of soils and the choice of varieties with strong economic potential;

4. The quest of experience in commercialization through the strategy of group sales allowing the production, conservation, transformation and commercialization cooperatives to really start up their activities and to implement a monitoring and intermediation mechanism for the commercialization of agricultural products;

5. The involvement of popular organizations towards their institutional development and their financial autonomy through the improvement of governance by the promotion of internal and external communication by the adoption of measures relative to the active contribution and participation of farmers.

Furthermore, the environmental scan shows the need of raising awareness of producers to integrate their relatives (families, social) in the formulation of their operating accounts. This approach with allow to value the activity will enable agricultural producers to reduce the risks of social dependence. The implementation of the Mutuelle agricole de Prévoyance Sociale [Agricultural Fund for Social Coverage] must contribute equally to this vision.

It is important to emphasize the significance ot the political dialogue: the policies (agricultural, employment, food security) must be inclusive, which need the involvement of all actors at once in the planning and implementation and, in particular, the young people. Motivate creative initiatives. These policies have an illustrative and incubating role to change to a structural and holistic agricultural policy approach and rural economy, promoting employment. Agriculture assumes a cross cutting nature and concerns all sectors inviting this way a better coordination of intervention of all contributors and to equally involve the actors of family farms, young people, women and, develop public-private partnerships associating actors from the economic world and private sector around common objectives.  The implemented policies must aim mainly to improve the productive base with motivational mechanisms for the business environment, and, at the same time, a trade framework coherent with the policies implemented, as well as motivational measures for competitiveness, infrastructures costs, and land security (which is not the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture); it is also necessary to promote the structuring of local product chains (existing or new) and value chains. There is the need to guide and support the existing channels to strengthen or identify the new networks always supporting the classical channels.

Fenosoa Ratsimandrata

Ministère de l'Industrie et du Développement du Secteur Privé

English translation below  

A propos de la complémentarité entre les efforts d'intégration multilatérale et régionale, un participant a envoyé un commentaire sur l'application des tarifs extérieurs communs et de mesures complémentaires pour soutenir les consommateurs au niveau régional. Un commentaire connexe concerne l'amélioration du respect des dispositions des accords régionaux ou multilatéraux au niveau national. Quelles sont, à votre avis, les lacunes à combler en termes de capacités pour que, d'une part, les pays africains respectent davantage les dispositions des accords régionaux et multilatéraux, et d'autre part, pour qu’ils renforcent leur engagement dans les négociations commerciales?


Le problème pour les pays comme Madagascar est que beaucoup d’accords commerciaux ont été signés mais ces derniers ne profitent pas réellement au pays. Pour basculer la situation il faudrait en premier une volonté politique de la part des dirigeants pour réellement s’engager dans les différents accords commerciaux. Toutefois, l’engagement gouvernemental seul ne suffit pas, il faut également impliquer le secteur privé. A Madagascar par exemple, il existe déjà une plateforme de dialogue public-privé. Ce qu’il faut c’est de la rendre effective car ses fondements ne sont même pas encore clairement régis. Il faut ainsi veiller à ce que chacune des problématiques portées au niveau de cette plateforme soit résolues et qu’une planification des actions à mettre en œuvre soit réalisée, ce qui n’est pas encore le cas. Par ailleurs, l’implication de tous les partenaires potentiels dans cette plateforme devrait également être envisagée pour avoir un retour plus enrichi sur les stratégies à mettre en œuvre.

Si cette plateforme est réellement effective, le premier point qui devrait être discutée concerne le renforcement de la compétitivité du secteur privé malgache et l’amélioration de leur accès aux marchés extérieurs. Il faudrait ainsi une consultation publique-privée pour voir les orientations stratégiques et donc les actions à mettre en place pour favoriser les échanges commerciaux du pays avec les pays signataires des accords. Toutes les actions doivent s’articuler autour de l’amélioration de la productivité des produits concernés par les accords, en termes de quantités et de qualité. En effet, il faut que le pays assure une production suffisante et de qualité pour pouvoir honorer les accords et permettre qu’ils profitent réellement à l’Etat malgache. En ce sens, il faudrait voir ensemble les améliorations à mettre en œuvre en termes d’infrastructures (transport de marchandises, infrastructures industrielles, infrastructures d’appui, etc.), en termes de renforcement de capacités pour tous les acteurs des chaînes de valeurs concernées par les accords commerciaux (formation, suivi et accompagnement), en termes d’amélioration de la normalisation (laboratoires de référence, vulgarisation des normes internationales, techniques de contrôle et de certification internationales, etc.).

Toujours dans cette optique d’amélioration des échanges commerciales, les efforts devraient également se concentrer sur la facilitation des procédures douanières. Le fait est que les procédures de dédouanement des marchandises prennent énormément de temps à Madagascar. Ainsi, il faudrait se pencher sur les actions à mettre en œuvre pour pallier à ce problème. Mais dans l’un ou l’autre des 2 axes d’amélioration proposés, le tout est de veiller à ce qu’ils soient validés entre les secteurs publics et privés et qu’il n’y ait pas de décisions unilatérales.


In relation to the synergy between the multilateral and regional integration efforts, one of the participants sent a commentary on the application of common external tariffs and complementary measures to support consumers at regional level. A related commentary is concerned with the improvement of respect for the provisions of regional or multilateral agreements at national level. What are, in your opinion, the weaknesses to be overcome in terms of capacities so that, on one hand, African countries have more respect for the provisions of regional and multilateral agreements, and on the other, they reinforce their involvement in commercial negotiations?


The problem for countries like Madagascar is that many commercial agreements have been signed but they do not really benefit the country. To transform the situation, firstly, there should exist a political will on the part of the leaders to commit themselves fully to the different commercial agreements. Nevertheless, governmental commitment alone is not enough the private sector should also be involved. In Madagascar for example, there is already a platform for public - private dialogue. What is missing is to make it effective because its bases are not yet really clearly laid out. We must ensure that each one of the problems brought to the level of this platform is solved and that a plan of actions to be implemented is drawn up, which so far is not the case. Furthermore, the involvement of all the potential partners in this platform should equally be foreseen in order to have a more enriched feedback on the strategies to be implemented.

If this platform is really effective, the first point that should be discussed relates to the strengthening of competitiveness of the Malagasy private sector and the improvement of their access to external markets. A public-private consultation will be needed to look at strategic orientations and therefore the actions to be implemented to promote the country’s commercial trade with the countries signing the agreements. All the actions must be formulated around improving the productivity of the products affected by the agreements, in terms of quantities and quality. Indeed, it is necessary that the country ensures sufficient production and quality so as to be able to honor the agreements and ensure that they really benefit the Malagasy State. In this respect, we should jointly review the improvements to be implemented in terms of infrastructures (transport of goods, industrial infrastructure, support infrastructure, etc.); in terms of strengthening capacities of all actors in the value chains affected by the commercial agreements (training, follow-up and support); in terms of improvement of standardization (reference laboratories, common application of international norms, audit mechanisms and international certification, etc.).

Always with the aim of improving commercial trade, efforts should equally be concentrated on simplifying customs procedures. It is a fact that the process of clearing goods through customs takes an enormous amount of time in Madagascar.  Thus, we need to concentrate on the actions   required to solve this problem. But in whichever of the two lines of action proposed for solving this problem, the essential is to take care that they are validated between both the public and private sectors and that there are no unilateral decisions.

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?

Its my view that the AoA provides sufficient policy space for domestic support for countries in Africa. However my issue is box shifting that is done by some countries in which you find some support measures in Amber box are being shifted to green box which is trade distorting. Disciplines on green box need to be adhered to.. When it comes to export competition, developed nations are yet to implement the Nairobi decision to remove all export subsidies which needs to be a reality at MC 11. On Public Stock-holding for Food Security, its my view that a permanent solution needs to be found at MC11 or we extend the peace clause. 

English translation below 

1/ Les dispositions de l’Accord de l’OMC sur l’agriculture limiteraient les manœuvres politiques de nos pays en voie de développement. Ces critères doivent prendre en compte les niveaux de vie, les niveaux de contraintes, l’impact des changements climatiques et leurs adaptations. Ces critères doivent aussi tenir compte des capacités des pays à s’autonourrir, à être apte aux changements climatiques et à assurer leur sécurité alimentaire. Notons aussi que cette sécurité est en étroite relation avec le développement de ces échanges économiques, qui passent par le désenclavement des zones et le développement routier.

En effet les MGS peuvent être un frein dans le processus d’échanges puisque les pays qui subventionnent assez les produits agricoles, verront ces produits traversés les frontières vues que ceci joue ou influence sur la sécurité alimentaire dans d’autres pays ainsi que sur les politiques.

2/ Nous pensons qu’aucun pays ne peut faire une restriction à l’exportation si ce pays ne considère pas que ceci pourrait atteindre ou affecter sa sécurité alimentaire. De plus, le surplus, plus la production prochaine risquent de baisser le prix de vente vue que l’offre va augmenter. Ainsi la restriction de l’exportation renforce la sécurité alimentaire des pays africains si cela est fait dans le strict respect des normes et pour le développement.

Les disciplines de l’OMC en matière de restriction à l’exportation doivent permettent une grande flexibilité. Les éventuels évènements peuvent surgir, donc si les disciplines ne permettent pas une flexibilité ceci pourrait être un risque. La situation socio politique, les déplacements dus aux changements climatiques, ou à des crises politiques, sont des genres de situations qui peuvent affecter la production et aussi le niveau ponctuel de la sécurité alimentaire. D’où une flexibilité s’avère nécessaire pour régler au mieux certains problèmes d’ordre alimentaire qui en découleront.

3/ Les efforts peuvent être entrepris au niveau multilatéral pour compléter les efforts d’intégration régionale. L’ouverture de leurs frontières, élimination ou diminution des contraintes de normalisation et financières peuvent rendre les exportations plus faciles vers ces pays. Il a certains domaines d’actions mieux pris en compte à certains niveaux. Les restrictions et observations d’exportation entre les pays au niveau multilatéral sont plus flexibles et alléger entre eux qu’entre le niveau régional et multilatéral.

Au niveau régional, les pays préfèrent exportés vers les pays au niveau multilatéral à cause des devises et des capacités d’échanges. Néanmoins il est préférable que les pays au niveau régional se comprennent et consolident leurs marchés avant d’aller sur le marché international.


  1/ The provisions of the WTO Agreement on agriculture would limit the political maneuvering of our developing countries. These criteria must take into account the standards of living, the degree of constraints, the impact of climate changes and the adaptations to them. These criteria must also take into account the capacity of the countries to feed themselves, to be able to adapt to climate change and to ensure their food security. Please also note that this food security is in direct relation to the development of those economic exchanges which are derived from the opening up of zones and the development of the road network.

Indeed, the AMSs could be a brake on the process of exchange because the countries that give many subsidies for agricultural products will see those products cross the frontiers, given that this will have an effect on or influence food security in other countries as well as on policies.

2/ We think that no country should restrict exports unless that country considers that this could affect or influence its food security. Additionally, surplus, plus the upcoming production risk lowering the selling price because the supply is going to increase. Therefore export restrictions reinforce food security in African countries if that is made in strict observance of the norms and in favor of development.

The WTO disciplines in terms of export restrictions must allow for great flexibility. Possible eventualities could occur, and if the disciplines do not allow flexibility it could be a risk. The socio-political situation, the displacements due to climate change or to political crises, are the kind of situations that could affect production and also the level of food security at a given time and place. Hence, flexibility is necessary to best deal with certain food problems which these situations will provoke.

3/ Efforts could be made at multilateral level to complete the regional integration efforts. The opening of their frontiers, elimination or reduction of normalization and financial restrictions could make exports easier towards these countries. There are certain types of actions that are better taken into account at certain levels. The export restrictions and observations between countries at multilateral level are more flexible and simplified between them than between the multilateral regional level.

At regional level, countries prefer to export towards the countries at multilateral level due to foreign exchange and trading capacities. Nevertheless, it is preferable that the countries at regional level understand each other´s markets and consolidate them before going to the international market.


The export restrictions within the concerned African country can enhance food security in the short run because Governments are ensuring food availability and accessibility for their people. This however has to be temporary because the export restrictions affect neighbouring countries that are food importers in that food becomes expensive due to limited availability. It means the people with low incomes might not access such foods due to the high cost leading to malnutrition. For countries within the same Regional Economic Community for example East African Community (EAC), the export restrictions should be avoided so as to build trade between member countries.

WTO disciplines on export restrictions should be stricter, but this depends on whether they can be enforced. There some instances where the WTO discipline may not be considered; for example developing and Least Developed Countries were allowed flexibilities to institute export restrictions if there is likelihood of food insecurity within their countries.

Georgios Mermigkas and Ishrat Gadhok

facilitators of the discussion, FAO

Translation in French below 

Thank you to all the participants who have contributed to this forum. There are some very interesting views that are emerging on the themes of this discussion, reflecting the differing experiences and perspectives of the participants. We have heard some thoughts on the importance of designing trade strategies based on an understanding of the specific food security situation in a country; of evidence-based decision making such as through thorough analysis of the potential impacts of bilateral or regional trade policy reforms; of enforcement of trade rules at different levels; and of inter-agency cooperation.

On export restrictions, there seems to be some convergence among the views of the participants who responded to this question. If we can paraphrase, it was noted that while export restrictions are put in place to address short-term food security concerns, they might not be effective in improving food security in the longer-run, particularly when such measures are not implemented as part of a long term strategy. This is because they can contribute to lower price incentives for domestic producers, and overall uncertainty in markets that leads to lower investment. Strengthened trade rules, that would better regulate the conditions under which export restrictions are applied, were encouraged. It would be interesting to hear other thoughts on this important issue.

We would also like to draw our attention back to the other two questions posed in the forum.

On the question of policy space for domestic support in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), the issue of a agreeing on a permanent solution to the rules governing public stockholding was raised. What about other forms of domestic support such as input subsidies, which are a common feature of agricultural policies in African countries? Do you think the AoA provides sufficient policy space for the implementation of such measures? Why or why not?

On the question of complementarity between multilateral and regional integration efforts, there was a comment about enforcement of common external tariffs, and complementary measures to support consumers at the regional level. There was a related comment about improving compliance at the national level, with provisions in regional or multilateral agreements. What capacity gaps can you think of, for improving compliance of African countries with the provisions in regional and multilateral agreements on the one hand, and for enhancing their engagement in trade negotiations on the other?


Merci à tous ceux qui ont participé à ce forum. Des opinions très intéressantes se dégagent sur les thèmes de cette discussion, reflétant les différentes expériences et perspectives des participants. Plusieurs réflexions soulignent l'importance d'élaborer des stratégies commerciales fondées sur une compréhension de la situation spécifique de la sécurité alimentaire dans un pays, d’une prise de décision fondée sur des données probantes, comme une analyse approfondie des impacts potentiels des réformes de la politique commerciale bilatérale ou régionale, et de l'application des règles commerciales à différents niveaux et de la coopération interinstitutions.

A propos des restrictions à l'exportation, une certaine convergence de vues semble se dégager parmi les participants qui ont répondu à cette question. Si nous pouvons paraphraser, les participants ont fait remarquer que s’il est vrai que des restrictions à l'exportation peuvent être mises en place pour répondre aux préoccupations à court terme en matière de sécurité alimentaire, celles-ci risquent de s’avérer inefficaces pour améliorer la sécurité alimentaire à plus long terme, en particulier lorsqu’elles ne sont pas mises en œuvre dans le cadre d'une stratégie à long terme. En effet, elles peuvent contribuer à réduire les incitations à la baisse des prix pour les producteurs nationaux et à susciter l'incertitude générale sur les marchés, ce qui entraîne une baisse de l'investissement. Les participants se sont montrés favorables à un renforcement des règles commerciales, qui permettraient de mieux réglementer les conditions d'application des restrictions à l'exportation. Il serait intéressant d'entendre d'autres réflexions sur cette question importante.

Nous voudrions également attirer à nouveau l’attention sur les deux autres questions posées dans le forum.

Quant à la marge politique requise pour le soutien interne au sein de l'Accord sur l'agriculture de l'OMC, la question d'un accord sur une solution permanente aux règles régissant les stocks publics a été soulevée. Qu'en est-il des autres formes de soutien interne telles que les subventions aux intrants, qui sont une caractéristique commune des politiques agricoles dans les pays africains? Pensez-vous que l’AsA offre une marge politique suffisante pour mettre en œuvre de telles mesures? Pourquoi ou pourquoi pas?

A propos de la complémentarité entre les efforts d'intégration multilatérale et régionale, un participant a envoyé un commentaire sur l'application des tarifs extérieurs communs et de mesures complémentaires pour soutenir les consommateurs au niveau régional. Un commentaire connexe concerne l'amélioration du respect des dispositions des accords régionaux ou multilatéraux au niveau national. Quelles sont, à votre avis, les lacunes à combler en termes de capacités pour que, d'une part, les pays africains respectent davantage les dispositions des accords régionaux et multilatéraux, et d'autre part, pour qu’ils renforcent leur engagement dans les négociations commerciales?


Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla


This comment was posted on IFPRI Food Security portal 

I think Lal makes the correct point that "All are end-users of food, but most of use cannot be totally self-sufficient enough in food to secure for ourselves a varied and a wholesome balanced diet. So, the majority is compelled to procure at least some of their food by purchase, hence the need for a decent livelihood (not to mention the other needs)."

In fact, the number of people, even small farmers in low income countries, that provides completely for their own food is very, very reduced. Therefore, "the majority is compelled to procure" not "at least some" but most of their food. That is why employment and income generating options for all are crucial. In that regard the notion that producing cash crops for export may reduce food security because of the lack of availability has been shown not to be correct if those activities generated employment opportunities, which facilitated economic access to food (I discussed some of the evidence  in pages 32-33 of this report http://ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/129861/…)