UN Report: Agricultural Markets and Sustainable Development

UN Report: Agricultural Markets and Sustainable Development

Global trade in food and agricultural products has more than doubled in the last two decades, according to a new report issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The report, the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets, 2020 (SOCO 2020) | #The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets, 2020 (SOCO 2020) |, argues that both global trade and well-functioning markets are important for development and particularly for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.
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Global Agri-food Trade Up
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The volume of global agri-food trade has more than doubled since 1995, reaching $1.5 trillion in 2018. Emerging and developing countries are contributing more, over one-third of the world’s total.
As FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu explains, markets are vital for the global food system. “This is all the more important in the face of major disruptions, whether they come from COVID-19, locust outbreaks or climate change.”
The report indicates that about one-third of all global agricultural trade crosses international borders at least twice. This increase has been driven by income growth, lower trade barriers, and technological advancements, which have in turn contributed to the growth of markets and trade by linking farmers to traders and consumers across regions and countries.
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Finding Advantages for Smallholders
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These gains can be advantageous for smallholder farmers, who can boost their food production and income. On average and in the short term, a 10% increase in agriculture’s global value chain participation can result in about a 1.2% gain in labor productivity.
However, too often smallholders miss out on the benefits of global value chains. And stringent food quality and safety requirements could further marginalize them.
Redoubling efforts for inclusion
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The solution, the report says, is to “redouble efforts to include smallholder farmers in modern food value chains, thus securing rural incomes and food security in both rural and urban areas.”
The answer lies in broad policies that boost smallholders’ participation in global value chains. Better rural infrastructure, services, education, and productive technology can boost smallholders’ participation in the global value chain.
The role of technology and certification schemes
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Digital technologies, in particular, can help markets to function more effectively and can improve famers’ access to them. The report also makes the case for agricultural and food markets contributing to sustainable development | Learn more on Commonshare |.
As a case in point, promoting and applying voluntary sustainability certification schemes and standards can address trade-offs between economic, environmental, and social objectives | Learn more on Commonshare |.
And sustainability certification schemes | Learn more on Commonshare | can also promote fair trade, inclusion, non-discrimination, and environmentally-friendly farm practices. They can also play a role in ensuring occupational safety, doing away with child labor, and encouraging investments.
Lexicon:
he State of Agricultural Commodity Markets, 2020 (SOCO 2020) | https://reliefweb.int/report/world/state-agricultural-commodity-markets-2020-agricultural-markets-and-sustainable |:The report covers four areas: trends in agricultural and food markets; global value chains in food and agriculture; farmers and value chains – business models more sustainable growth; digital technologies and agricultural and food markets. (source from reliefweb website)

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