What do farmers need to address their main concerns and needs in the context of agricultural trade?

Yesterday, April 8, WFO farmers’ organisations’ representatives from Russia (AKKOR), Germany (DBV), Malawi (NASFAM), Zimbabwe (ZFU), Rwanda (INGABO), and Ghana (COFAG) met digitally for a special session of the 3-year exchange program “Transitional Agriculture”.

The meeting was framed in the first round of seminars of the project for this year, organised around the topic of Agricultural Trade.

The first session was moderated by the Secretary General of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), Arianna Giuliodori. It was focused on the role of Farmers’ Organisations in agricultural trade policymaking and discussions and featured, as a special guest, Doaa Abdel-Motaal, Senior Counsellor at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agriculture and Commodities Division.

At the World Farmers’ Organisation, we have been in touch with Doaa Abdel-Motaal for a few years now, working together to ensure that the farmers’ voice is present at WTO public discussions, from the Public Forum (which is the main forum in which WTO interacts with stakeholders) to the Trade Dialogues on Food, the more recent work that WTO is carrying out to create a conversation among different stakeholders around the role of international trade in food security, also framed in the broader Food Systems’ discussions at the global level,” said the WFO Secretary General during her opening speech.

After the scene setting, farmers’ representatives shared their farmers’ organisations’ best practices, main concerns, and needs related to agricultural trade and WTO policies.

The meeting offered an excellent venue for farmers to establish an open dialogue with Doaa Abdel-Motaal, who had the chance to interact with the Farmers’ Organisations sharing views on WTO processes and the way forward an enhanced involvement of farmers and their representatives in agricultural trade discussions.