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Double-Edged Prices: Lessons from the food price crisis: 10 actions developing countries should take

November 3, 2010

The recent sharp increase in food prices should have benefited millions of poor people who make their living from agriculture. However, decades of misguided policies by developing country governments on agriculture, trade, and domestic markets - often promoted by international financial institutions and supported by donor countries - have prevented poor farmers and rural workers from reaping the benefits of higher commodity prices. As a result, the crisis is hurting poor producers and consumers alike, threatening to reverse recent progress on poverty reduction in many countries. To help farmers get out of poverty while protecting poor consumers, developing country governments, with the support of donors, should invest now into smallholder agriculture and social protection.

A Raw Deal for Rice under DRCAFTA: How the Free Trade Agreement Threatens the Livelihoods of Central American Farmers

November 1, 2004

The Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the Central American countries together with the Dominican Republic (DR-CAFTA) threatens the livelihoods of thousands of rice farmers in Central America. It opens the door to massive subsidized US rice exports at prices below the cost of production. If the Agreement is ratified and implemented, a flood of subsidized rice will displace thousands of Central American producers from the market. Only a few export and import companies will reap benefits. The dependence on food imports that DR-CAFTA will provoke may also worsen current levels of food insecurity for Central American countries. Oxfam fears that the implementation of DR-CAFTA will have a negative impact on poverty reduction in the Central American region.