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International Food & Agricultral Trade Policy Council Presents

Achieving Agricultural Development through Agricultural Trade
in Southern Africa

A Capacity and Communication Building Seminar

29 February 2004, 10:00-18:00

Sandton Convention Center

Johannesburg, South Africa


As the world food and agricultural system becomes increasingly global, it has become clear that agricultural trade policies, both in developed and developing countries, have a powerful effect on agricultural development.

The agricultural trade negotiations taking place at the WTO under the Doha Development Round, as well as regional and bilateral negotiations, offer many avenues for pursuing trade reforms. But, stakeholders in developing countries, often including Ministries of Agriculture, farmers and local agribusiness representatives, are not part of the process of setting priorities and establishing goals for the outcome of trade negotiations.   Their estrangement from the process can prevent trade negotiators from having a full understanding of what the agricultural community needs from a trade agreement.

The International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) will present a seminar on February 29, 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 10:00 to 18:00 in the Sandton Convention Center to address these issues.  The seminar will bring together government officials, farmers, and other agricultural stakeholders in the region to discuss the role that agricultural trade can play in economic development and to relate that role to trade negotiations at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels.

The program is based on a series of seminars carried out by the IPC in summer and fall 2002 for developing country trade negotiators in Geneva entitled Achieving the Doha Development Agenda.  The Geneva seminar series provided practical advice and a forum for open discussion with IPC members - former agricultural trade negotiators from the United States, European Union and Canada; agribusiness executives and other trade experts - but also with other negotiators.

Participants in the Geneva seminars cited a need for similar ‘real world’ advice and information to flow to officials in capitals as well as the broader community of agricultural stakeholders.  In response, the IPC developed the Capacity Building Program, Achieving Agricultural Development through Agricultural Trade.  Similar seminars will be held in other regions during 2004.  

The seminars and publications associated with the program will address how countries can benefit from agricultural trade The IPC seminars will increase interaction between and within the governments of each region.  Furthermore, by including agricultural stakeholders outside of the government, the IPC intends to increase openness, transparency and understanding of the agricultural trade system.

Limited fellowships are available.  For questions or to indicate interest, please contact IPC Communications Director, Kari Heerman at heerman@agritrade.org. This program is made possible by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).   

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