Tejinder Pal Singh
Department of Sociology,
Sri Guru Gobind Singh (SGGS) College,
Sector-26, Chandigarh (India)
Abstract: Food, as a commodity, is also a source of wealth where control over some elements of the food trade impacts on availability, accessibility, absorption (utilization), stability and sovereignty. Global institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO) and certain Transnational Agro-food corporations have been central to the development of the global food system by dominating production, international trade, processing, distribution and retail sectors. These global institutions, under the guise of new development goals, have been attempting to create a dependency framework by dictating the path of trade, agricultural and other welfare policies in the name of increasing opportunities for accelerated economic growth, poverty alleviation and food security. The result is that the so-called efficient global trading system is becoming neither fair nor balanced as developed countries (the ‘haves’), on the one hand, are subsidizing their agricultural sectors and on the other hand restricting access of developing countries (the ‘have-nots’) to their markets. According to a new report issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the number of hungry people in the world increased to from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016. Over the past ten years, the number of violent conflicts around the world has increased significantly, in particular in countries already facing food insecurity, hitting rural communities the hardest and having a negative impact on food production and availability (FAO, 2017). The paper attempts to sociologically analyze the prevailing dialectics between free trade on industrial goods and services but retention of protectionism on farm subsidies to domestic agricultural sector (demanded by the ‘haves’) and the substantiation of the international liberalization of fair trade on agricultural products (requested by the ‘have-nots’). The consequences of the recently adopted packages at WTO Ministerial Conferences in Bali (2013) and Nairobi (2015) on the National Food Security law of India have been discussed. Fair and Inclusive Trade based global governance paradigm has been put forth to realize the dream of “Zero Hunger” and food security for all which still remains at the core of recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Keywords: Dependency-theory, Food-security, Global-food-trade, WTO, Bali-Package, Nairobi-Package, SDG-2