At their fourth summit held in New Delhi on 29th March, the BRICS expressed their desire to reinforce both their economic and political cooperation, in order to play a greater role on the international stage.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which now represent over 40% of the world population and a quarter of global GDP, have stated their common position on major international issues: financial stability, the situation in the Middle East, climate change, but also food security.
In their "Partnership for stability, security and global prosperity,"1 the BRICS have underlined that food security is now a top priority challenge on which agricultural price volatility poses a major risk. As such, they consider it to be essential to implement further regulation of agricultural markets and increase agricultural production and productivity.
The importance these countries give to agriculture reveals the sector’s many highly strategic dimensions. Motivated by the desire to secure their supplies and to become major agricultural powers, they have initiated active policies to increase domestic production, including processed food products. However, if some are willingly positioning themselves as exporters, they intend to demonstrate "controlled"2 trade management and their markets may be closed at any time.
The progress of these countries clearly demonstrates that the objectives set by the international community in terms of increased world production can only be achieved if world producers have, by means of effective and complimentary agricultural policies, sufficient visibility, the only way to promote production by protecting farmers from international price volatility.
Hopefully the reinforced cooperation displayed among the BRICS will be a positive momentum towards the further integration of agricultural governance, particularly because their proposals converge with those issued during the G20.
1 Cf. http://mea.gov.in/mystart.php?id=190019162
2 Sometimes through unilateral decisions to suspend exports, as did Russia in the summer 2010, with its wheat exports.