PARIS, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As a key element of the Dakar Declaration issued following the Dakar Agricole Forum, the creation of a World Organization for Agriculture (WOA) would represent a major step toward a new global governance system.
At the Dakar Agricole forum held on April 18 and 19, and organized in cooperation with momagri, H. E. Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal, proposed that the primary objective of such World Organization for Agriculture be the regulation of agricultural markets and the coordination of agricultural policies. President Wade advocated locating this WOA on the African continent, which will face the most serious demographic and food challenges in the coming years.
Officials attending the Dakar Agricole Forum collectively pointed out that "boosting output and regulating physical and futures agricultural markets are the only solutions to resolve the hyper-volatility of agricultural commodity prices. Price spikes are affecting consumer solvency, and price slumps are jeopardizing agricultural output capacity. Farmers need agricultural price stability and visibility, so that the development of sustainable agricultural production and global food security are achieved. The events of the past few years have shown us the limits--even the dangers--of the 'all market' in agriculture."
For momagri Chairman Pierre Pagesse, "Regulation is quite conceivable since it would apply to the global trade of some products--such as grain or milk--that form the basis of nutrition. In fact, international agricultural trade accounts for less than 10 percent of global agricultural output and involves a maximum of 10 exporting countries.
"More precisely, this WOA would outline, for these key products, free fluctuation price tunnels per large geographical zones and based on the data provided by a cost price watchdog body. No intervention would be required within such tunnel. Should agricultural commodity prices come out of their respective tunnels, a 'Global Food Security Council' would instigate safeguard mechanisms to regulate the agricultural markets involved on the basis of economic facts observed in each major area of the world."
Two main courses of action could be defined and applied under the aegis of this WOA:
- Working on market regulating reserves built up in the large exporting regions as well as on emergency reserves in nations subjected to food insecurity;
- Insuring better transparency in financial market operations and implementing rules to fight excessive speculation.
What would the WOA mission and standing be?
As an offshoot of the G20--today's most successful expression of global cooperation on world issues--the WOA would have a genuine decision-making capability through a secretariat managed by the FAO or the WFP. It would thus be in charge of monitoring agricultural markets with suitable tools, which would permit anticipating crises and acting to regulate markets when needed.
"The Organization's consultation and decision-making board would be the Global Food Security Council, established according to a rationale close to the UN Security Council," added Jacques Carles, Executive Vice President of momagri.
For momagri, this proposal must be considered in earnest, since we are probably on the eve of an era during which agricultural price "seismicity" will get worse, with consequences on world balance that could be even more calamitous than the economic and financial crisis.