Globalization and Markets

New Issues in Agricultural, Food And Bioenergy Trade

IFPRI is a member of the The AgFoodTRAde consortium that gathers eleven research institutions for a coordinated program of work for three years, starting May 1 2008. The work intends to help answering questions such as: what are major trends and driving forces affecting world trade? What is their impact and how should trade policies deal with these processes in the future?

The project builds on past research in international trade analysis and modelling to assess the consequences of trade negotiations and public policies on agricultural production, markets and trade. The program of work emphasizes issues that are at the core of the Globalization and Markets research program such as:

  • the impact of demand from energy markets which affect agriculture;
  • the demographic changes, which in some developing and transition countries modify the demand for food;
  • the concentration of firms in many global markets, which could modify the expected size and distribution of gains from trade liberalization among stakeholders;
  • the impact of trade liberalization on price volatility, and potential remedies;
  • the growing importance of sanitary and technical measures and their potential impact on food security, health issues, and trade.

The program of work includes the development of indicators and methodologies; the development of three large scale models (a general equilibrium model of the world economy MIRAGE, a model of EU agriculture and a spatial model of agricultural trade); the development of databases on trade and tariffs (e.g. MAcMapHS6); the evaluation of trade agreements and policy reforms using welfare analysis. The project intends to provide information, expertise, and operational instruments to policymakers involved in trade negotiations, and agricultural policy design.

The Impact of Biofuels Mandate on Agricultural Markets and Environment

The key objective of this project is to study the impacts of biofuels mandates. The analysis assesses the effects of these mandates on agricultural production and employment, trade, food prices, and the environment. Many of these impacts are interlinked. In particular, we seek to address the key question of the direct and indirect effects of land use changes induced by global demand for biofuels, as well as the impact of biofuels on carbon emissions. A new version of the dynamic multi-country, multi-sector computable General Equilibrium model MIRAGE has been developed (MIRAGE-BIOF) to incorporate biofuel commodities, as well as to integrate a better description of the energy sector. Finally, the land use and supply components of the model have been completely modified to tackle this specific issue.

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