Investing in Agriculture in Developing Countries: the Whole World Says Yes, but the WTO Says No

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by Deborah James

Farmers, development activists and food security advocates alike are united in the need for resilient agro- ecological local food systems to achieve the Right to Food.

Unfortunately, there remains an international constraint towards achieving this: The global rules that actually govern agriculture – not just for trade but also domestic production – are set in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and they are appallingly unfair and antiquated.

Fortunately, we now have the best chance in 20 years of changing the single most damaging aspect of the WTO: the rules that prohibit developing countries from investing in their own farmers.

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