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

The Brisbane G20 Summit: What conclusions for agriculture and food security?

November 24, 2014


Not surprisingly, the G20 Summit held in Brisbane, Australia, on November 15 and 16 was mostly taken over by the current geopolitical tensions. Yet, the participants did address the issues concerning energy, climate, the fight against the Ebola virus, and of course the pursuit of global economic growth.

Boosting growth and investment, creating jobs, improving market operations and the financial system with stricter supervision of banks and futures markets. These are some of the commitments made by the participating countries, while still focusing on the need to resume a liberalization policy that aims to eliminate tariff barriers and lighten the weight of regulation policies.

With regard to development, poverty eradication and food security, the G20 promised increased investment and productivity, as well as improved employment in terms of access and quality. In addition, the Summit provided an opportunity to sustain the G20 agricultural issues, that is to say fighting excessive volatility, promoting data transparency and cooperation between organizations, or still the integration of small farmers. Yet, no major proposal concerning food security has been brought forward.

Ultimately, the periphery of the Summit has where the news––especially agricultural news––caused the most commotion, thus confirming that new paradigms are emerging on issues of free trade and international commerce:
    - Welcomed in the Brisbane final communiqué, the conclusion of an agreement signed on he eve of the Summit on the Indian agricultural subsidies between India and the United States allows the WTO to come out of the crisis, said the organization’s Director General Roberto Azevedo. He speaks of a “very significant breakthrough” to definitively ratify the December 2013 Bali agreement, especially the Trade facilitation Agreement (TFA). The United States and India agreed that the Indian public reserve measures would not be called into question by the WTO “until a permanent solution on the issue is obtained and adopted”. A success for India indeed, but is it also one for the future of the WTO? Has not the rot already set in?

    - Another news in the periphery of this “High Mass”, the signature of a free trade agreement between China and Australia. In negotiations for the past nine years, it sanctifies the transition from the “mining boom” to the “food boom” of the Australian economy, and concerns the elimination of customs duties for the Australian dairy industry.

    - Lastly, the final blow for the supporters of unhindered free trade, on November 17 the European Commission published its annual report on protectionism. And the conclusion is quite clear: Protectionist measures by the EU major trade partners keep increasing, thus contradicting the G20 members that insist they “all have taken measures to facilitate trade”.
In the end, these evident facts are confirming a trend toward trade “balkanization” by the an increasing number of bilateral agreements, and are asserting the growing legitimacy of the WTO that had become almost “virtual” and obsolete.

Without becoming an “apostle of responsible globalization”, to use Pascal Lamy’s recent expression, it might be urgent to consider that free trade and regulation are not an oxymoron, especially in agricultural and food security issues. Agriculture and food security cannot be viewed as an adjustment variable or a smokescreen for protectionism under another name, but as a Global Public Good.


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Paris, 13 December 2018