Skip to main content

FAO urges review of agri commodity markets

FAO Director-General urges a review of market governance institutions to boost voice of smallholders.
Related Category: Sub Category:

Governments ought to review the way international agricultural commodity markets are governed, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told ministers from around the world gathered for a meeting on the subject.

Commodity markets caught global attention due to volatile food prices in the past five years. While prices are currently declining, Graziano da Silva noted that underlying issues lurk in market institutions largely forged in the 1970s. Enormous changes since then, in production and distribution fronts, "have had far-reaching implications not only for how international commodity markets work but also for food security, property rights and access to productive resources, and the position of smallholder commodity producers," he said in opening remarks&n bsp;at FAO's third ministerial meeting on international agricultural commodity market governance.

FAO has piloted the idea of creating inclusive "multi-stakeholder fora" involving all stakeholders in a particular commodity market: government, private sector producers and traders, consumers and non-governmental organizations. It also hosts AMIS, the Agricultural Market Information System, an early-warning monitoring service that allows for coordinated response in times of stress, such as the 2012 droughts in North America and the Black Sea region. "We need more," Graziano da Silva said.

Lassaad Lachaal, Minister for Agriculture of Tunisia and chairperson of the ministerial meeting, said there were "deficiencies" today in amassing reliable, up-to-date information on commodity stock levels and trends and that a stronger institutional scheme to promote policy coordination is needed.


New priorities
One question ministers have been asked to discuss is how commodities should be related to the broader international development goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Commodity production and export account for a fifth of the world's economic activity and are estimated to provide incomes and employment for more than a billion people.

Smallholders in developing countries produce the lion's share of the world's agricultural commodities, including non-staple foods such as sugar and coffee. Improving their productivity and relative prosperity is central not only to FAO's goal of eradicating hunger, but to the broader United Nations agenda of supporting sustainability in all policy arenas.

Nearly two-thirds of developing countries rely on primary commodity exports for more than 50 percent of their export earnings. Many countries have high levels of dependence on commodities such as bananas, jute or cotton. Coffee alone account s for two-thirds of Burundi's export earnings.

Globally, 80 percent of coffee is produced by smallholders, and the figure is higher for cocoa. Both products are part of global value chains that are often dominated by distributors.
 

Votes with an average with

Related Story

Rural marketing landscape is transforming: RMAI

The rural marketing landscape is transforming in many ways marketers might not have thought of just a few years ago and Rural Marketing Association of India ( RMAI) will strive to address these…

Bhoosamruddhi project: Improving diet of livestock

In order to improve the basal diet of livestock, which mainly comprises of crop residues, a training programme was held for the field veterinarians from the state of Karnataka. The training…

Mobile App for Rural Road Maintenance “Aarambh” launched

The visiting Deputy Director General (Policy) International Labour Organization(ILO) Deborah Greenfield, who is on an official visit to India, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Panchayati…

infinity banner