Jacques Carles, co-founder and chief executive officer of momagri, recommends the creation of an international task force to urgently set forth the mission of a World Agriculture Organization to resolve the current global food crisis.
Above and beyond an international partnership, it is imperative to establish a Global Agricultural Policy. This is in addition to President Sarkozy’s proposals––and their interest is noteworthy––since such a policy will focus on immediate action more than long-term participation.
This task force would unite the expertise of major global organizations concerned: the FAO, the World Bank, the IMF, the UNCTAD, the UNEP, the IFAD and the WTO.
It represents a crucial decision that the Global Food Safety Conference in Rome must make, so that agriculture can reclaim its strategic role in the fight against poverty and in the preservation of the environment.
Indeed, it seems no longer admissible to accept such a division of accountability and such a disengagement from agriculture, in spite of the recent awareness generated by soaring agricultural prices.
› Lets not forget that only 4% of public aid to development is earmarked for agriculture, aid that accounts for less than 0.4% of the world GNP;
› Lets not forget that the current crisis was not foreseen by prospective models since none are tailored to agriculture’s specificities and its inherent significant price volatility;
› Lets not forget that food safety is a fundamental stake for the future of mankind and that we must make the necessary investment and implement an international system of regulations in agricultural markets;
› And last but not least, lets not be mistaken: Many consider that agricultural prices will remain high, whereas we are only facing a circumstantial peak. This fact was demonstrated during our presentation of the momagri model to the European Parliament last April 9.
For the first time ever, this model can integrate the very factors that generate price volatility, thus allowing for a better visibility of a future that can no longer be ignored. The examination of these results for the next few years indicates that agricultural price fluctuation will increase, notably due to speculation.
Because the root of the problem lies in the permanent unrest influencing agricultural markets, it represents a key menace for global agriculture.
It is now time to react and remove agriculture from WTO negotiations since trade only involves 10% of agricultural products worldwide. In addition, it is wise to do so before the implementation of the “lowest common denominator for the media” of the Doha development cycle, since we now know that a WTO agreement would worsen the economic situation of the world’s poorest nations.
As France gets ready to assume the presidency of the European Union and in line with its guiding principles, momagri––the think tank co-founded and chaired by Pierre Pagesse––will soon introduce the framework of a future Global Agriculture Organization, including its founding principles and organizational structure, that would serve as a working document for the future task force.