The interests of commodity markets: more important than feeding people


market tradersIn the World Trade Organisation negotiations, the US and other rich countries have argued that government food security programmes can distort commodity markets when the surplus from government stockpiles is exported, or sold on the open market.

India has just passed new food security legislation, and the Thai government has increased substantially the amount of rice it buys from poor farmers. They, and others in the G33 group of developing nations trying to feed their poorest citizens (below), are ‘bowing the knee’ and seeking WTO’s permission to allow governments to set the prices they can pay to poor farmers and use their surplus grains to feed malnourished people.

Global hunger graphic to 2012

There will be a second round of talks, followed by the APEC meeting in early October, the IMF & World Bank annual meetings and the final December WTO ministerial meeting. .

What will they decide?



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