Trade Resources Roundup
To highlight policy month on Agrilinks, the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security project has rounded up recent blogs focusing on trade. Including both formal (i.e., policies, laws, regulations, and standards) and informal rules (i.e., societal norms and traditions), the enabling environment is critical to understanding policy issues, with trade being a particularly strong example. The blogs listed below unpack the enabling environment and policy relationship across several key trade topics.
How can the right balance be achieved between trade facilitation and food security, particularly in developing areas of the world? The answer to that question includes the effective implementation of the WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which focuses on food safety measures, both plant and animal-based, and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which focuses on trade facilitation measures. This blog also discusses how the effective development and implementation of standards, which provide minimally acceptable benchmarks for products and services, are symptomatic of the vital and interconnected links between food safety and trade.
A healthy and sound enabling environment for agriculture, with clearly defined formal and informal rules, reduces the cost and risk of doing business, thereby fostering trade and investment. A recent forum in South Africa discussed how to better encourage donor investment in this area. The main takeaways from the forum include the need to: (a) focus on the private sector as the main agent of change; (b) explicitly recognize the role of enabling environment initiatives in sector-focused projects; (c) foster greater donor coordination to ensure value for money in mutually beneficial programs; (d) stimulate additional capacity building to offset the need to develop and implement laws and regulations; and (e) address indicator challenges, including issues of attribution versus contribution as well as a realistic timetable for reform.
The Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) Index is a tool that measures data from 63 countries over time on agricultural regulations, including seeds, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets, transport, water, and ICT. The EBA Index analyzes legal and efficiency indicators. The EBA Trade Basics Technical Note analyzes the trade indicators which exist within efficiency indicators, focusing on trade restrictions on the export of agricultural products, the import of fertilizers and tractors, and cross-border transport rights. In addition to describing the EBA indicators related to trade, the text includes examples of EBA trade indicators in Senegal, Cambodia, and Nigeria. Finally, the EBA Trade Basics Technical Note also includes information on how USAID Missions may use the EBA Index to benchmark and monitor Mission performance.
For additional information and resources on these policy topics, please check out the links above!