The IFPRI roundtable, with its focus on the prospects of a long-term balance between food demand and supply, provided a link between the two conferences, as the adequacy of food supply at affordable prices for future populations is a crucial element in a strategy designed to alleviate poverty and accelerate growth, in the context of an increasing population.
The government of almost every country has intervened in the market pricing of foodgrains to promote price stability. But the rules of the game are changing as countries abandon trade restrictions and protectionist policies in the wake of the Uruguay Round agreement of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Will food prices fluctuate more or less with trade liberalization? Foodgrain Price Stabilization in Developing Countries: Issues and Experiences in Asia, Food Policy Review 3, by Nurul Islam and Saji Thomas, looks at these issues from three perspectives. The first part reviews the literature and briefly summarizes the macro and micro policies that governments in developing countries have adopted to stabilize prices. It also considers alternative policies that do not seek to stabilize prices per se but deal with the consequences of price instability for food producers and consumers, such as crop insurance or futures markets. The second part focuses on the foodgrain price stabilization experiences of five developing countries in Asia, the circumstances underlying price stabilization policy for rice and wheat over time in each country, and the design and implementation of the schemes adopted. The third part examines the implications of the policies adopted for future price stability.
Examination of proposal for tariffication and disciplines on subsidies and quantitative controls currently under negotiation; Special and differential treatment, agriculture, and the developing countries in the Uruguay round; Nontraditional exports of developing countries: the case of horticultural exports; The impact of trade liberalization on low-income, food-deficit countries; Food security and compensation: the role of the GATT; The impact of trade liberalization on domestic and international price instability.
Reducing rural poverty in Asia provides evidence-based guidelines for policymakers in developing countries, fore researchers focusing on development problems, and for the international development assistance community in the continuing search for ways to effectively reduce poverty in the developing world. Detailed examinations are clearly presented on the efforts for poverty alleviation through micro-enterprise development and rural public employment programmes that focus on public works and household/small-scale industries. Asia-based case studies of various micro-enterprises and rural public employment projects reveal important policy mechanisms and the effectiveness of each poverty reduction measure. Tables, figures, and relevant glossaries make unfamiliar terms and difficult information easy to understand. This comprehensive, thorough and insightful book is a must read for students and scholars of rural development.