Agricultural policies and international negotiations
- Definition of a joint venture
- History of the joint venture of Danone / Wahaha
- The rupture and its reasons
- The accounting consequences of this failure
Since antiquity, most states have intervened in the economy of the agricultural sector, for various reasons, almost all of which included the objective of ensuring the best possible security of food supplies of the population. Indeed, the belief that the state is doing everything possible to ensure that everyone, at any time, has access to adequate food, in quantity and quality, is a cornerstone of the social contract that binds each state to its nationals. In other words, agricultural policy is fundamentally a food policy. Agricultural policies, which also include food policies, environmental policies and land use, are a subject of contention in international relations among the countries of the European Union (EU), between the EU and the U.S., among the emerging countries and poor countries, between developed and developing countries, etc. On several occasions, the international negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed on agricultural issues. The liberalization of this sector which is promoted by some, is strongly disputed by others, because agriculture provides food, and thus supports life. The motives and means of public interventions in agriculture are diverse. However, the agricultural and food policies in place during the twentieth century have been challenged since the 1980s, and have evolved under the influence of the discussions within the World Trade Organization.
Most economists working on developing countries - considering the jobs provided by agriculture, the income it distributes, markets it offers to other sectors and the role it plays in the overall economic development -recommend appropriate agricultural policies. One can therefore invoke many reasons, economic, social or political, to justify government intervention in agriculture. Nevertheless, to achieve a particular goal, several ways are possible in general.
The means of public intervention in agriculture are numerous and varied: for example, they can determine the conditions of access to land through land reform laws or laws against overlapping, with a minimum area of installation, or status of the rent and share cropping; codify standards to be met in the production process; fund services for agricultural research and extension, training for jobs in the agricultural sector to set upmarketing infrastructure and transport . Some instruments are particularly used in the current policies and are the subject of international negotiations: price support paid to farmers, subsidies to factors of production, direct payments to farm income. To guarantee minimum prices to farmers, two major routes are possible:direct intervention in market operations, or, conversely, give free rein to price and pay a posteriori farmers a subsidy per unit of output, which fills the difference between market price and minimum price. In the EU, the Common Market Organisations of cereals, beef and dairy products, with tariffs that raise the price of imported goods and with public storage to maintain domestic prices above a certain threshold, to illustrate the first channel. The policy of the United States for cereals since the mid-1960s is part of the second path. By their nature, the benefit from guaranteed prices to farmers is more than they produce in larger volumes.
Tags: Agricultural policies; international negotiations; benefits of agriculture and its policies for the economy