A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Against the dismantling of support tools to agriculture: India objects!

May 13, 2013


The trade ministers from various WTO member countries are attempting to build a difficult consensus on issues that have been particularly sensitive since the 2008 failure of the Doha Round. While the global geopolitical context changes, the WTO seems to be still bogged down by outdated paradigms that are increasingly denounced by its own members. Pending a new lease on life and a deep-rooted reform, the division lines are becoming increasingly more clear-cut.

Despite its name, the G33––a coalition of 46 importing developing countries led by India––is gaining prominence as a new voice within the WTO. The group’s almost sole objective is to limit commitments regarding market access. It has been the key defender of the proposal aiming to authorize developing countries to allocate up to 20 percent of their agricultural commodities as “special”, in order to benefit from a more flexible tariff treatment based on food security needs, guaranteed livelihoods and rural development.

During the January 2013 Davos Economic Forum, the group clearly stated it would not accept any attempt by industrialized nations––in particular the United States––to weaken the agricultural negotiations in a new trade round. With this in mind, India, as the G33 standard-bearer, tabled a new proposal for agricultural trade and food security, supporting more flexible rules for agricultural subsidies in the WTO “green category”––exempted from any ceiling or reduction commitment on the ground that such rules do not create distorting effects. Accordingly, India advocates new rules regarding public reserves for food security and domestic food aid, especially to confront price hyper-volatility.

The United States strongly objected to this proposal under the pretext that the very foundation of international trade is at stake. Yet, India does not intend to stand still. As a country attentive to the highly strategic nature of agriculture, India has gradually denounced the WTO’s negative direction regarding agricultural trade since the start of the Doha Round in 2001.

The current evolution of the WTO does not meet the expectations of the assorted countries of the world regarding food security and supply, at a time when unregulated liberalization has clearly showed its limitations. The need for convergence, which was recommended in a recent WTO study on the future of trade, actually reflects the urgency to implement a global agricultural and food policy. Will it be the work of the next WTO Director-General?

Otherwise, the risk will be great to see a multiplication of bilateral agreements and the multilateralism carried by the WTO losing its substance...
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Paris, 18 December 2018