Case Studies in Food Policy for Developing Countries

Case Studies in Food Policy for Developing Countries: Institutions and International Trade Policies

Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Fuzhi Cheng
Søren E. Frandsen
Arie Kuyvenhoven
Joachim von Braun
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Case Studies in Food Policy for Developing Countries
    Book Description:

    The food problems now facing the world-scarcity and starvation, contamination and illness, overabundance and obesity-are both diverse and complex. What are their causes? How severe are they? Why do they persist? What are the solutions?

    In three volumes that serve as valuable teaching tools and have been designed to complement the textbook Food Policy for Developing Countries by Per Pinstrup-Andersen and Derrill D. Watson II, they call upon the wisdom of disciplines including economics, nutrition, sociology, anthropology, environmental science, medicine, and geography to create a holistic picture of the state of the world's food systems today.

    Volume II of the Case Studies addresses the issues of domestic policies for markets, production, and the environment.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6638-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction and Overview
    (pp. 1-4)

    Food systems are complex, and public sector action is critical to guide them toward the fulfillment of societal goals. Insufficient understanding of how food systems work, however, and failure to understand the effects of potential and actual government action are major reasons why food systems operate at suboptimal levels. Nowhere are the consequences of a poorly functioning food system more severe than in developing countries, where every fourth preschool child is malnourished and more than 800 million people suffer from food insecurity. At the same time, chronic diseases caused by being overweight or obese are becoming a major public health...

  5. Part One Governance, Institutions, and Macroeconomic Policies

    • Introduction
      (pp. 5-6)

      Although the term “food policy” is often interpreted to mean sectoral micro- or mesoeconomic policies, food systems are strongly influenced by macroeconomic policies, as shown by cases in this section. Institutions enter into food systems in a variety of ways at local, national, and international levels, and institutional innovation is a critical element of effective policy design and implementation. These issues and the related role of governments are discussed, along with the impact of instability and armed conflict on food security and lessons for government action....

    • Chapter One Linkages between Government Spending, Growth, and Poverty in Uganda and Tanzania (9-1)
      (pp. 7-20)
      Shenggen Fan

      This case study presents a synthesis of the links between government spending— in areas such as agricultural research and development [R&D], irrigation, rural education, and infrastructure [including roads, electricity, and telecommunications]—and economic growth and poverty reduction in Uganda and Tanzania. The findings of this case study are intended to help explain how government spending on key investments can help meet the broader policy goals of improved growth and poverty reduction through various channels. This study, using a common framework, seeks to broaden and deepen understanding of the mechanisms through which government investment results in pro-poor economic growth.

      The overall...

    • Chapter Two Linkages between Government Spending, Growth, and Poverty in India and China (9-2)
      (pp. 21-36)
      Shenggen Fan

      The objective of this case study is to present a synthesis of the links between government spending—in areas such as agricultural research and development [R&D], irrigation, rural education, and infrastructure [including roads, electricity, and telecommunications]—and economic growth and poverty reduction in China and India. The findings of this case study are intended to help explain how government spending on key investments can help meet the broader policy goals of improved growth and reduction in poverty through various channels. The study, using a common framework, seeks to broaden and deepen understanding of the mechanisms through which government investment results...

    • Chapter Three Cambodia’s WTO Accession (9-3)
      (pp. 37-48)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      Since the creation of the World Trade Organization [WTO) in 1995 with 128 members, an additional 21 countries have successfully acceded to the organization. On October 13, 2004, Cambodia became the WTO’s 148th member, almost 10 years after it had first applied and just over a year after its membership package was approved at the Cancún Ministerial Conference. Cambodia is the second in the category of least-developed countries [LDCs) to join the WTO, following Nepal’s accession on April 23, 2004.

      In its Protocol of Accession, Cambodia has taken on commitments in two major areas, including market access for imported goods...

    • Chapter Four The WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism and Developing Countries: The Brazil–U.S. Cotton Case (9-4)
      (pp. 49-62)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      The Dispute Settlement Mechanism [DSM] of the World Trade Organization [WTO] is often seen as one of the major achievements of the multilateral trading system. Many believe that the WTO DSM has introduced greater “legalism” and provides a more “rules-oriented” system relative to the “power-oriented” one of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT]. Indeed, since its inception in 1995, more and more developing countries have used this system to pursue their trading rights. More important, trade disputes recently resolved through the WTO DSM have involved successful challenges, by developing countries, to certain unfair trade practices of developed countries,...

    • Chapter Five The Sugar Controversy (9-5)
      (pp. 63-74)
      Fernando Vio and Ricardo Uauy

      Sugar, one of the world’s most important food commodities, provides a high percentage of calories for the population in many countries. But consumption of calories either as sugar or fat by sedentary populations promotes overconsumption of energy and thus may contribute to the “globesity” epidemic and associated chronic diseases. In addition, sugar provides only energy [“empty calories”], potentially leading to micronutrient inadequacy, with corresponding health consequences.

      The “sugar controversy” has its roots in an expert consultation held in early 2002 by the World Health Organization [WHO] and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO] on diet, nutrition,...

    • Chapter Six Biosafety, Trade, and the Cartagena Protocol (9-6)
      (pp. 75-86)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      Global production of genetically modified [GM] agricultural commodities has increased significantly in the past decade. Some people see GM crops as offering new hope in addressing some of the most serious problems that poor people in developing countries face, such as hunger and malnutrition. Others see them as creating unpredictable health and environmental problems and having negative economic repercussions.

      The proliferation of domestic biosafety measures has increasingly affected international trade in GM products and led to trade disputes. Although WTO member countries can make their own decisions regarding GM products at the national level, domestic legislation must be WTO-consistent to...

    • Chapter Seven Coffee, Policy, and Stability in Mexico (9-7)
      (pp. 87-98)
      Beatriz Ávalos-Sartorio

      The fact that poor people will resort to violence to change the political and economic system that they believe is responsible for their poverty is not new. The link between poverty, violence, and instability has started to figure prominently in the agenda of strategic discussions in global fora and national governments, sparked by the increased sense of threat from terrorism felt by societies in developed countries. Analysts seem to agree that poverty, combined with a long list of factors, including ethnic disparities, social and economic inequalities, and resource disputes, can prepare the ground for conflict.

      Although poverty itself does not...

    • Chapter Eight Development Strategies, Macroeconomic Policies, and the Agricultural Sector in Zambia (9-8)
      (pp. 99-110)
      Danielle Resnick and James Thurlow

      At its independence in 1964, Zambia, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, was perceived to have a bright future. The country was endowed with vast natural resources, including favorable agroecological conditions and large copper deposits. Within two decades, however, the country descended into a macroeconomic crisis. Agriculture and rural incomes stagnated and industry was collapsing, leading to severe poverty and malnutrition. This case study examines how Zambia’s different development strategies led first to a macroeconomic crisis in the 1980s and then to economic recovery in the late 1990s. More specifically, it focuses on the interplay between macroeconomic and sectoral policies...

  6. Part Two Trade and Globalization Policies

    • Introduction
      (pp. 111-112)

      The impact of globalization on food systems is complex. The cases prepared for this section address the effects of trade and agricultural policies in both high- and low-income countries, as well as the impact of other elements of globalization such as the international expansion and concentration of the private food sector. The impact of trade and domestic agricultural policies in OECD countries on low-income countries and low-income people are discussed, and available policy options for alleviating negative impacts are identified. The impact of tariff escalation and nontariff trade barriers is also considered....

    • Chapter Nine Globalization and the Nutrition Transition: A Case Study (10-1)
      (pp. 113-128)
      Corinna Hawkes

      In the current “nutrition transition,” the consumption of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods high in fats and sweeteners is increasing throughout the developing world. The nutrition transition, implicated in the rapid rise of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases worldwide, is rooted in the processes of globalization. Globalization affects the nature of the food supply chain, thereby altering the quantity, type, cost, and desirability of foods available for consumption. Understanding the links between globalization and the nutrition transition can thus help policy makers develop policies, including food policies, for addressing the global burden of chronic disease.

      This case study explores how one of...

    • Chapter Ten Producer Subsidies and Decoupling in the European Union and the United States (10-2)
      (pp. 129-144)
      Maria Skovager Jensen and Henrik Zobbe

      Since 1986 agriculture has been a major part of multilateral trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATD], and since 1995 under the World Trade Organization [WTO]. The main objective of these negotiations is to promote free trade through disciplinary rules and reduction of trade-distorting policies. The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture [URAA) from 1993 established the current disciplinary framework for agricultural liberalization of domestic support, market access, and export competition.

      Domestic agricultural support is considered trade distorting if it is coupled to production. The URAA introduced a reduction commitment of 20 percent on some types of...

    • Chapter Eleven U.S. Farm Policy Reforms: Domestic and International Implications (10-3)
      (pp. 145-156)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      With the Doha Round of World Trade Organization [WTO] negotiations at a standstill, substantial liberalization of agricultural trade remains elusive. One obstacle to progress is that “dirty decoupling” of farm subsidies from production decisions in developed countries has discredited the constructive reform strategy of reducing the production- and trade-distorting effects of farm support programs. Border measures in the developed world, often put in place to accommodate domestic policies, are also problematic.

      The United States has a long history of farm policy interventions. The omnibus multiyear farm bills provide extensive income and price support to farmers of major crops. Protective trade...

    • Chapter Twelve CAFTA’s Impact on U.S. Raw Cane Sugar Trade (10-4)
      (pp. 157-170)
      Alexandra C. Lewin

      Sugar trade has been at the heart of many international trade agreements. Sugar is one of the largest agricultural industries in the United States and thus is a sensitive commodity. Groups around the world have a vested interest in how the United States handles sugar production and trade. The latest change to the U.S. sugar program was the passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement [CAFTA].

      The United States imports raw cane sugar using a tariff-rate quota [TRQ] system. This trade regime sets in place specific tariffs within a set volume of sugar. If an exporting country exceeds the...

    • Chapter Thirteen The Impact of U.S. Subsidies on West African Cotton Production (10-5)
      (pp. 171-182)
      Andrea R. Woodward

      Cotton subsidies and their impact on international prices and on the livelihoods of poor African cotton farmers have become a central focus of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization [WTO] negotiations. Cotton subsidies have taken a high profile in part because cotton is a critical crop for some of the world’s poorest countries, including the “Cotton 4” countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali. Another reason for this attention is that middle-income countries such as Brazil and China have a great deal at stake in cotton trade and much to gain through the elimination and reform of...

    • Chapter Fourteen Trade Liberalization in South Korea’s Rice Sector: Some Policy Implications (10-6)
      (pp. 183-194)
      Sukjong Hong and Fuzhi Cheng

      The tension between the liberalizing agenda of the World Trade Organzation [WTO] and the policies of industrial-country members of the WTO has been framed as a battle between developed countries and less-developed countries. In this contentious arena, one of the charges persistently brought against South Korea is that its domestic support policies distort the distribution of potential trade benefits that would be generated by access to its domestic rice market. This market is considerable, as South Korea, along with Japan, is one of the world’s biggest consumers of japonica or shortgrain rice.

      The issue of domestic support for rice has...

    • Chapter Fifteen The Textile and Clothing Agreements (10-7)
      (pp. 195-204)
      Jill S. Shemin

      Demand for textiles and clothing [T&C] has been rising quickly in the developed world [the European Union and United States], and it is forecast to grow further in the future. At the same time, especially during the past decade or so, low-income developing countries have greatly increased their T&C production, allowing them to develop their T&C industry and utilize their vast resources of low-skilled labor.

      For 30 years the world’s richest countries have imposed stringent quotas on imports of T&C. From 1974 to 1995, the Multi-Fiber Arrangement [MFA] defined the regulations for tariffs and quotas’ on all T&C trade categories....

    • Chapter Sixteen The Coffee Crisis: Is Fair Trade the Solution? (10-8)
      (pp. 205-216)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      Coffee is an important crop widely grown in the developing world. The economies of some countries, particularly those in Central America and parts of Africa, are highly dependent on coffee as a source of both national income and export earnings. About 25 million people, most of whom are small-scale farmers, rely on coffee for a living.

      Smallholder coffee farmers once reaped abundant benefits from their crop. Cash from coffee sales financed schools, hospitals, infrastructure, and training for farmers. Coffee-producing regions were also associated with higher income levels, higher literacy rates, higher nutritional levels, and less political instability. But all these...

    • Chapter Seventeen Preference Erosion, the Doha Round, and African LDCs (10-9)
      (pp. 217-230)
      Wusheng Yu

      African least-developed countries [ALDCs] have enjoyed preferential treatment in exporting their agricultural products to developed countries. Reductions of agricultural trade barriers on a most-favored nation [MFN] basis by preference-granting developed countries may erode the benefits of these preferences. In particular, MFN tariff reductions coordinated through a World Trade Organization [WTO] agreement could cause serious preference erosions, and the current Doha Round of trade negotiations, aimed at ambitiously reducing agricultural trade barriers, may conclude with such an agreement.

      The Doha Round has also declared a “development agenda,” which emphasizes the interests of developing countries, including the LDCs. The so-called special and...

    • Chapter Eighteen Meeting Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Standards: What Can China Do? (10-10)
      (pp. 231-244)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      It is widely recognized that rising sanitary and phytosanitary [SPS] standards have created numerous obstacles to the international exchange of agricultural commodities. The issue is of particular importance for developing countries with abundant agricultural resources as they seek to expand their exports of labor-intensive, high-value-added agricultural products to the more lucrative developed-country markets. Agricultural exporters in developing countries are often required to meet stringent developed-country SPS standards. Not only are these standards much higher than international standards and those prevailing in developing countries, but they are also subject to frequent [usually upward] revisions.

      China is a large agricultural producer and...

    • Chapter Nineteen Tariff Escalation in World Agricultural Trade (10-11)
      (pp. 245-256)
      Fuzhi Cheng

      Tariff escalation, a common practice in international commodity trade, refers to a situation where tariffs are zero or low on primary products and increase, or escalate, as products undergo processing. It causes the price of value-added imports relative to raw products to increase, decreasing the demand for processed products in the importing country. Through tariff escalation, one country can effectively protect its domestic processing industries while limiting the scope of trade-related industrialization in foreign countries.

      Tariff escalation significantly impedes market access for developing countries, particularly in agricultural trade. Higher tariffs for more-processed agricultural products have the potential to depress value-added...