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    Add as FriendAgricultural policies and food security

    by: Rogers

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    1 : Agricultural policies and food security Samuel K.Gayi and Milasoa Cherel-Robson Special Unit on Commodities, UNCTAD
    2 : Course objectives The linkages between agricultural policies and food security. Emerging challenges, opportunities and risks linked to biofuels. The linkages between agricultural trade and food security.
    3 : Prevalence of food insecurity
    4 : Definitions, analytical framework and policy actors at national level “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (FAO, 2001) Analytical framework: availability, access, use and stability. Other conceptual issues include Sen’s entitlements framework and time dimensions and grades of severity of food insecurity Food security policies need to be implemented through a cross-sectoral approach involving various government ministries, namely: Agriculture, Trade, Health and Education. The focus of this presentation is on the linkages between food security and agricultural policies and trade.
    5 : Structure of the presentation Issues in SSA’s agricultural sector and scope for optimism Food security and biofuels: emerging challenges, opportunities, risks and policy responses Food security initiatives at international level South-South cooperation Why trade is important for food security Regional and subregional integration Food security and WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture
    6 : Issues in SSA’s agricultural sector Agriculture: Primary source of livehood for 64 % of the population in SSA. 34 % of the continent’s GDP. 40 % of the continent’s export earnings. Agriculture under Structural Adjustment programmes: Trade liberalisation was thought to do the trick. Public spending on agriculture was reduced. Public marketing boards have not been replaced by private institutions. No compensatory policies.
    7 : Neglect of agriculture
    8 : Issues in agriculture (cont’d) The continent went from being a net food exporter to being a net food importer in 1988. By then, the continent had a net food trade deficit of $2.4 billion. This trend continued and culminated in African food imports reaching $119 billion in 2007. The continent’s potential in commercial agriculture remains largely untapped with a fledging agribusiness sector in most countries. Regarding productivity gains and technology-led diversification for a variety of crops including corn, soybeans, sugar and rice, Africa is lagging behind East and South Eastern Asia and Latin America.
    9 : Impact on food security Africa is also losing its competitiveness in traditional crops such as cotton which is essential for the livelihood of millions of farmers and their families. Structural constraints include: low investment in the agricultural sector, paucity of transport infrastructure, low access to finance, low adoption of technology, no “green revolution”. By increasing vulnerability to poverty, these structural constraints limit conditions for food availability and food access on the continent. And hence result in a situation of increased food insecurity.

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