Trade and Agriculture Events

OECD Global Forum on Agriculture 2009


Agricultural Policies in Emerging Economies

Paris, France | 29-30 June, 2009


The world was unprepared for the recent commodity price shocks. The sharp rise in agricultural commodity prices from 2006 through early 2008 led to much higher food costs, reduced food accessibility and violent demonstrations in the streets of many developing countries. Affected governments reacted with ad hoc policy measures to ensure short-term food security (e.g. export restrictions, price controls, import tariff reduction, emergency stock building). International bodies increased humanitarian aid and stepped-up multilateral dialogue on longer term strategies to address the emerging food crisis.

By the end of 2008, agricultural commodity prices, for the most part, had dropped dramatically (as did oil prices). The commodity price outlook is now more in line with historical trends. But agricultural markets will remain volatile and production shortfalls will occur again. Governments, facing irate consumers, will likely react with the same “beggar thy neighbour” policy measures that can exacerbate the situation, send the wrong signals to producers and interrupt food supplies in other countries. What is a more appropriate policy response? What can be done to reduce the frequency of commodity price swings? What can be done to better deal with such events when they do occur?

In the longer run, food demand will rise with population and incomes. Global demand for food, feed and fibre is expected to nearly double by 2050. Agriculture will have to compete for scarce land and water resources while adjusting to climate change and to doing its part to preserve natural habitats, endangered species and biodiversity. Will we be able to feed the world? What types of investment and development are needed? Are existing policies appropriate for these future developments? What are the priority policy areas?

The 2009 Global Forum on Agriculture will examine the medium and longer term prospects for the sector and what policies are required to enhance future food security. The Forum will draw on recent analytical work, primarily from the OECD and FAO.


Agenda and background documents


Documents and presentations

Session I: Agricultural Outlook: Preparing for the Future

Medium Term Agricultural Outlook

Panel commentaries:

  • Linda Fulponi, OECD
  • Christopher Delgado, World Bank
  • Sarala Gopalan, IFAP, India | Document English

Longer Term Outlook for the Agri-food sector

• Panel commentaries

  • Siwa Msangi, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Javier Blas, Financial Times

Session II: Policy Directions and Priorities

Short-term Policy Responses to Higher and volatile Food Prices

Longer Term Policy Responses to Food Security

Panel commentaries


Contact us

For questions about the Global Forum on Agriculture, please contact the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.

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The purpose of the Outlook is to bring into the public domain information used and generated by collaborative work between the OECD and the UNFAO in the field of agricultural market outlook.
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