Essay about Food Appropriation Through Large Scale Land Acquisitions

5842 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 24 Pages
Rising Food Prices, Poverty, and the Doha Round
Sandra Polaski
Senior Associate and Director, Trade, Equity and Development Program MAY 2008

This paper examines the issues at stake in the Doha Round in light of rising food prices and their impact on global poverty. It first reviews the causes of high food prices, emphasizing those that are susceptible to action by governments. The author then presents recent evidence on how food prices affect the poor and concludes that, although many poor households will require urgent assistance, more are likely to gain from rising prices than lose. She argues that the Doha Round must allow developing countries adequate policy flexibility so that they can build up their own agricultural
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The impact of the price increases on poverty varies among countries and within countries. The effects on the poor depend on whether they are net sellers or net buyers of food, as well as whether they depend on the agricultural sector for wages or other sources of income. This paper identifies those causes of the price increases that would be susceptible to policy changes and discusses the poverty impacts, sometimes counterintuitive, that must be borne in mind. One area of policy that is directly at stake is trade policy. The Doha Round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization offers a particular challenge, because those trade talks appear to be reaching a crescendo just as food prices have spiked. This paper examines specific proposals in the Doha Round in light of its findings. Before turning to those issues, it must be noted that the rise in food prices has created a crisis for many poor households that demands an immediate policy response from the global community. The poor, often those

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