The relationship between trade and food security is attracting increased attention on both the trade and the development agendas. Ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 is a key objective in the Sustainable Development Goals – and trade is one of the means for achieving it. As patterns of consumption and production continue to evolve, global trade in agricultural products is expected to continue to increase over the coming decades. Trade will increasingly influence the extent and nature of food security across all regions of the globe. The challenge, therefore, is how to ensure that the expansion of agricultural trade works for, and not against, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
In the post-Soviet countries, trade plays an important role in ensuring availability and variety of food and as a source of income from expanding exports. The region plays an increasingly important role as a supplier of agricultural commodities in the world markets. To facilitate participation in international trade, the majority of the post-Soviet countries have joined the World Trade Organization, and many countries actively participate in regional and bilateral trade agreements.
While agricultural trade contributes to the economic growth in the region, malnutrition, in its various forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity) continues to be present to varying degrees in all countries of the region, with relative weights gradually shifting from undernutrition to overnutrition. Dietary changes, as part of broader lifestyle changes, explain these trends. However, trade, with its impacts on food systems, also influences consumer choices and the ultimate composition of diets. In this context, changes in market structures, driven by the broader economic policies, including trade measures, can have important implications for food security and nutrition in terms of effects on prices, variety and quality of available food, as well as incomes.
This course seeks to strengthen capacities of FAO member countries in Europe and Central Asia to develop and implement trade policies, taking into consideration their implications for food security and nutrition within the global governance context.
By the end of this course, participants will be better able to:
- Assess the challenges and opportunities posed by greater openness to trade for food security and nutrition;
- Evaluate different types of trade policy measures and their role in promoting food security, in order to design and implement coherent and evidence-based policies;
- Formulate agricultural trade policies and strategies, taking into consideration the international trade rules.
The course is composed of four units, each of which comprise of two to three lessons. The first three units are global in scope and include case studies, examples and evidence. The fourth unit is designed to cover key topics from the other three units, with a specific focus on post-Soviet countries.
Unit 1: Introduction to Trade, Food Security and Nutrition
- Lesson 1.1: Definitions and Linkages between Trade, Food Security and Nutrition
- Lesson 1.2: Impacts of Trade on Food Security and Nutrition
Unit 2: Trade Policy Supportive of Food Security
- Lesson 2.1: Trade Policy Measures and Agricultural Development
- Lesson 2.2: Design and Implementation of Trade Policy Measures
Unit 3: Governance of Trade, Food Security and Nutrition
- Lesson 3.1: Introduction to the Multilateral Trading System
- Lesson 3.2: Policy Space for Food Security in the Multilateral Trading System
- Lesson 3.3: Towards Improved Governance for Trade, Food Security and Nutrition
Unit 4: Trade, Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia
- Lesson 4.1: Situation analysis for the region
- Lesson 4.1: Experience with trade policy formulation and implementation
The course, organized in four units, will be conducted over a period of five weeks. The course will be delivered via the e-learning platform developed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR, http://www.unitar.org), using training materials developed by FAO. This pedagogical tool will help participants meet the course’s learning objectives through a self-paced study routine with optional and required readings, case study exercises, discussion forums and assessment quizzes. The course will be facilitated and mentored by international experts who have a wealth of practical experience to ensure that real-world examples are integrated into the coursework.
This course is designed to assist representatives from Ministries of Agriculture as well as other government ministries and officials directly involved in the formulation and implementation of trade, agricultural and food security policies and programs in the post-Soviet countries. Participants from the private sector and civil society could also benefit from the course. Researchers and students with interest in food security and trade analysis are also encouraged to participate. Priority will be given to policy makers and practitioners who develop agricultural and trade policy, as well as experts in the field of food security who are involved in the discussion and formulation of policies in this area.
This course is offered free of charge as part of FAO’s support to Member countries from Europe and Central Asia.The course will be conducted in Russian language. Limited slots are available and will be subject to a selection process conducted by FAO, taking into account, in particular, the geographical distribution and gender balance. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
In the preparation of this course, FAO draws from its extensive experience with providing guidance, capacity building and technical advice to its member countries on the topic of trade and food security, agricultural trade policy and multilateral trade negotiations, as well as its normative work on sanitary and phytosanitary issues.
A certificate of completion will be issued to participants who successfully complete all course-related assignments and assessments.
For more information about the course, please contact:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)