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Globalisation's Effects on World Agricultural Trade, 1960 to 2050



Recent globalisation has been characterised by a decline in costs of cross-border trade in farm and other products. It has been driven primarily by the information and communication technology revolution and – in the case of farm products – by reductions in governmental distortions to agricultural production, consumption and trade. Both have boosted economic growth and reduced poverty globally, especially in Asia. The first but maybe not the second of these drivers will continue in coming decades. World food prices will depend also on whether (and if so by how much) farm productivity growth continues to outpace demand growth and to what extent diets in emerging economies move towards livestock and horticultural products at the expense of staples. Demand in turn will be driven by population and income growth, but also by crude oil prices if they remain at current historically high levels, since that will affect biofuel demand. Climate change mitigation policies and adaptation, water market developments, and market access standards particularly for transgenic foods will add to future production, price and trade uncertainties.

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