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

What changes between the 2011 meeting of G20 agriculture ministers and the late-2013 WTO ministerial conference in Bali?

September 16, 2013

The G20 nations just met in Saint Petersburg. The summit presented a full agenda in a climate of international tensions concerning Syria. A number of issues were covered––including tax evasion and the volatility of capital flow in emerging countries––but not a single word of the volatility of agricultural prices. Yet, an action plan to fight agricultural price volatility had been adopted at the G20 agriculture ministerial meeting in June 2011, in particular at the urging of France.

What is the current status of the initiatives advocated by that G20 meeting on agriculture, especially regarding the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) that was implemented to increase market transparency, and concerning the “Rapid Response Forum” to improve international cooperation to prevent and manage food crises?

The hyper-volatility and instability that are intrinsic to agricultural markets remain worrisome and the G20 meeting in Saint Petersburg had the required authority to tackle this issue, if only to revive the fight against food insecurity. Yet the AMIS, currently chaired by Australia––the Cairns Group’s standard-bearer––is operating at low capacity, and the “Rapid Response Forum” is now only an empty shell.

Now that the G20 Summit is over, all eyes are turning to the WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali in early December, and where, it seems, agriculture will have the place it deserves. Yes, but at what price? Because the G20 heads of state and government, who in Saint Petersburg extended to the end of 2016 their commitment not to implement new protectionist measures, also indicated “that an agreement on trade facilitation, agriculture and development would serve as a stepping stone toward multilateral trade liberalization.” Suffice to say that at the present time, the roadmap seems vague, even if the liberalization of agricultural trade still appears as a goal to be reached in the name of a multilateralist ideology.

At present, Roberto Azevêdo of Brazil, who replaced Pascal Lamy as the WTO Director-General on September 1, is attempting to restart “a troubled system”. But food security does not require such type of stimulus, but rather a governance system based on market regulation modes. The WTO is ineffective in this field. We must just prevent blurring the lines between its mandate and the stability of global agriculture.
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Paris, 16 December 2018