Dialogue on Challenges of Changing Agricultural Markets

Dialogue on Challenges of Changing Agricultural Markets in the context of ACP-EU Trade: Identifying an Aid for Trade Agenda

14-15 April 2008, Brussels

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) in collaboration with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) is organising a dialogue meeting in Brussels on 14-15 April 2008 on “Challenges of Changing Agricultural Markets in the context of ACP-EU Trade: Identifying an Aid for Trade Agenda”.

The international community recognizes that trade liberalization per se does not automatically lead to economic growth and development. It is also broadly accepted that many ACP countries and especially least-developing ACP countries have not been able to fully benefit from enhanced market access opportunities because of non-competitive production capacity, lack of the necessary exporting infrastructure, inability to meet prevailing standards in high value export markets and being crowded-out of some markets by the domestic support and export subsidies of the developed countries. It is in this context that Aid for Trade (AfT) initiatives have emerged within both WTO and EPA negotiations as a mechanism for assisting ACP to address supply-side constraints and adjust their economies to trade liberalization.

In the agricultural sector, these include:
  • upgrading ACP productive capacities and developing trade-related infrastructure in ways which enable ACP producers and processors to take advantage of the economic opportunities created under EPAs;
  • assisting ACP producers and processors in adjusting to the new market conditions which are emerging under the impact of restructuring and liberalization processes;
  • supporting ACP governments in the establishment of appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks for the implementation of new rules governing trade in food and agricultural products with the EU.

In this context a key question becomes how to operationalise AfT support in the agricultural sector so that ACP countries can successfully undertake this process of structural economic change. Drawing lessons from the existing experience in the ACP and the EU in supporting restructuring in the agricultural and food product sector in the context of the market changes which are underway in the EU constitutes an important starting point for this process.

It is against this background that CTA, in partnership with ECDPM, has taken the initiative to organise a two day dialogue meeting in order to reflect on how to assist ACP agricultural stakeholders in this process of structural change.

The meeting will start (session 1) by identifying and discussing the key challenges for ACP of changing market conditions with a particular emphasis on the impacts on the regional markets. Then discussions (session 2) will be held on the past and current experiences/best practices in supporting economic transformation in the ACP agricultural sector (focus on banana, sugar, livestock, horticulture). A third session will present the lessons to be drawn from the EU internal experience in terms of restructuring programmes in the agricultural sector towards improved competitiveness. In the light of these experiences, participants will be asked to brainstorm on possible strategic orientations and concrete operational recommendations for future AfT support in the agricultural sector. The draft agenda is attached to this letter.

The workshop will bring together around 70 ACP and EU stakeholders currently involved in these issues: ACP representatives from regional organisations, Ambassadors, Farmers organizations, private sector, CSOs, etc.; representatives from the EC and from the EU member states, as well as other experts from IOGs. The meeting will be informal and Chatham house rules will be strictly applied in order to get an open and constructive discussion.


10 April 2008
Social Bookmarking
Add to: Digg Add to: Add to: StumbleUpon Add to: Slashdot Add to: Furl Add to: Yahoo Add to: Technorati Add to: Newsvine Information
Previous posts
Looking for a young intern
Consultancy assignment - Deadline 21/03/08
Consultancy assignment - deadline 14/03/08
Press Release : CARICOM Ministers Endorse Regional...
New criteria for seminar support programme
Seminar: Underutilized plant species for food, nut...
Brussels Briefing: climate challenge and ACP respo...
Seminar: Promotion of indigenous vegetables
Tech for Food - registration open
Consultancy assignment

© Copyright 2006 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email: