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Knocked-down Agriculture After De-industrialization; Another Destructive Influence of Neo-liberalism

Shafaeddin, Mehdi (2008): Knocked-down Agriculture After De-industrialization; Another Destructive Influence of Neo-liberalism.

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The author shows that although some short term factors have contributed to the recent food crisis in developing countries, the crisis is rooted mainly in agricultural support policies of developed countries, liberalization of the agricultural sector by developing countries and contradictions in the design and implementation of GATT/WTO rules. Agricultural liberalization has been imposed on lower-income countries by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and through bilateral trade agreements between developed and developing countries. The Neo-liberal economic philosophies, as well as unequal power relations between developing and developed countries, have been main contributory factors. There is a danger that further pressure on developing countries during the Doha Round may result in an outcome undermining development of the agricultural sector of developing countries further. The result would be intensification of dependence of lower-income countries on food imports, knocked-down agriculture and economic and political dependence on developed countries. A radical change in the trading system, practices of IFIs and policies of developed countries is required. Developing countries have little power to bring about such changes, but they can try to change their own policies. To do so it is not easy to resist pressure from developed countries and IFIs, but it is absolutely necessary if they do not wish to sacrifice their long-term development and well being of their population.

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