Deputy Director-General of the WTO, Anabel González, has stated that the growing risks to food security and market uncertainties underline the need to enhance transparency about agricultural trade measures and to strengthen data-sharing through the G20 Agriculture Market Information System (AMIS).
According to her, enhancing transparency requires timely and quality market information to safeguard against food insecurity.
DDG Anabel González who was speaking on 18th November, 2022 at a meeting of the AMIS Global Food Market Information Group at the WTO’s headquarters, emphasized that “The availability, quality, and timeliness of country submissions remain key to building accurate supply and demand balances for vitally important food security crops”.
Launched in 2011 by G20 ministers of agriculture following global food price hikes, AMIS is an inter-agency platform used to enhance food market transparency and policy responses to food insecurity.
It brings together G20 members plus Spain and seven other major traders of agricultural commodities, who together represent 80-90% of global production, consumption and trade volumes of crops such as wheat, maize, rice and soybean.
Ten international organizations, including the WTO, are part of the AMIS Secretariat, which is hosted in the Rome headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
DDG González underlined the important role that AMIS has played in championing market transparency and policy coordination and warding off food price volatility. AMIS has become “a globally recognized collaboration and transparency platform,” she said.
It is therefore crucial to enhance the quality of the information released by AMIS as stakeholders rely on such information to make sound policy recommendations, DDG González continued. She highlighted the Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response to Food Insecurity reached at the 12th Ministerial Conference, which explicitly refers to the role of AMIS.
Halt in publishing of data statistics
However, she regretted that “for some time now, a few G20 governments have stopped publishing their trade statistics”. In addition, the unprecedented food security crisis and adverse market conditions have accentuated the urgent need for transparency and joint efforts to strengthen AMIS’s work.
DDG González called on participants to look at new ways to enhance all AMIS transparency tools. Today’s meeting “will give us ample opportunity to go back to the basics” and “explore ways to strengthen data quality and accuracy”, she said.
DDG González also highlighted the importance of better communications with the business community to address multiple challenges, drawing attention to the recent Global Grain Geneva Conference and the upcoming WTO Agri-Food Business Days to be held on 8-9th December, 2022.
Dr. González explained that the latter will provide a unique opportunity for trade experts, the agri-food business community and farm leaders and associations to exchange views on how to remove trade obstacles and build sustainable and resilient global agricultural value chains.
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