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Better agricultural development for food security

Staff writer |
Rules governing international trade of food and agricultural products should be crafted with an eye to improving countries' food security and other development objectives.

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For this, a pragmatic approach that would align agricultural and trade policies at the national level is needed, a new FAO report argues.

The expected increase in global trade of farm products along with shifting patterns of trade and multiples sources of risks to global supplies will give trade and its governance a heightened influence over the extent and nature of food security everywhere.

As a result, the challenge for policy makers has evolved into one of ensuring that its expansion "works for, and not against, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition," according to The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO).

The new edition of this flagship FAO report aims to reduce the current polarization of views on agricultural trade, wherein some insist that free trade leads to more available and accessible food while others, noting the recent bout of volatile food prices, insist on the need for a more cautious approach to trade, including a variety of safeguards for developing countries.

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