IPC Seminar: Achieving Agricultural Development through Agricultural Trade

  • Date: Sunday, 29 February 2004
  • Venue: Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • For enquiries or to register please contact: Kari Heerman; E-mail: heerman@agritrade.org

Achieving Agricultural Development through Agricultural Trade is being presented by the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) in conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Africa Regional Conference for Africa, February 29, 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 10:00 to 18:00 in the Sandton Convention Center. The seminar will feature:

  • Mike Gifford, Former Trade Negotiator from Canada
  • Michael MacDonald, Head of Economics, SEIFSA
  • Ricardo Melendez, International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development
  • Percy Wachata Misika, Minister Counsellor for Agriculture at the Embassy of Namibia in Paris
  • Erastus Mwencha, Secretary General, COMESA
  • Michel Petit, Professor at the Institut National Agronomique, France and former Director of Rural Development, World Bank
  • Rodger Stewart, President, World Association of Beet and Cane Growers
  • Nicholas Sabwa, Former Trade Negotiator, Kenya
  • Robert L. Thompson, IPC Chairman and former Director of Rural Development, World Bank
  • Ann Tutwiler, IPC Chief Executive
  • Hans van der Merwe, Chief Executive, Agri SA
  • Ann Tutwiler, IPC Chief Executive
  • Ajay Vashee, President, South African Confederation of Agricultural Unions

The IPC's 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. Speakers will make brief presentations on a range of topics that will illustrate how African agriculture can benefit from existing trade agreements at the regional and multilateral levels as well as those under negotiation. Presentations will be followed by open discussion between panelists and participants. The seminar will cover:

  • What African agricultural interests need from national governments to take advantage of more open agricultural trade;
  • How agricultural interests can communicate their needs to those making trade policy in national capitals, in Geneva and elsewhere;
  • What the costs and benefits of regional integration are and how regional trading arrangements can benefit agricultural trade in Africa;
  • What elements of the text being used for agricultural negotiations at the WTO are and how they will affect African agriculture; and
  • What the political realities are in both developed and developing countries that will effect the outcome of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations.

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 US, EU 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.

More information can be found on the IPC website - www.agritrade.org.

This program is made possible by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).(make a live link plse - www.usda.gov)