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Food Security: An Absolute Priority for the G-20 Summit
Paris, March 30, 2009
A drastic drop in farmers’ revenues in poorest nations (less 60 percent),
The completion of the Doha Round will obviously be presented at the impending G-20 Summit on April 2, as the solution to ward off protectionism. Yet, latest simulations by the momagri model prove that non-regulated liberalization in agriculture would, in the next 15 years, lead to:
A lasting deterioration for importing developing nations (such as China and India: less 30 to 40 percent),
An decline tendency for developed nations (with losses of 30 percent over several years),
While only exporting emerging nations, such as Brazil, would come out unscathed.
What would the results be? An upheaval in the global equilibrium principally translating into the impoverishment––or even disappearance––of agricultural economies in countries with the highest population growth. Europe and the US would also record massive farming and agribusiness job losses and Europe’s food security would therefore be called into question.
The big winners? Investment funds that purchase millions of hectares, especially in Africa, because they will fully benefit from lower tariff barriers.
Can we take the risk that global agriculture experiences in the future the same fate as that borne by financial markets?
Without the implementation of global regulation to prevent the destabilizing––or even devastating––consequences of price volatility, a WTO agreement for agriculture would generate a food crisis that would be far more dangerous than the current financial crisis. Governments would then have to resort to protectionist measures to guarantee their foremost responsibility: food security for their populations. Far from being the development round, Doha could thus become the round of turmoil.
How must we tackle this “foreseeable catastrophic scenario”, which further compounds with threats of possible conflicts dealing with access to energy and water resources? To prevent this, launching global governance for agriculture is thus imperative:
To promote the goal of food security in a regulated market, that is to say the search for collective food solvability;
By including worldwide food security as one of the stakes of the G-20 Summit, just as financial market regulation or economic recovery;
On the short term, by rejecting the public impact of any political statement around a Doha agreement on agriculture with the sole purpose of easily restoring confidence on a subject where breakdowns have followed one another for the past seven years!
Redefining the purposes of the Doha Round and not using it as symbol for the fight against protectionism is therefore a main concern for the G-20 Summit.
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