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Draft Paper – Not to be cited without author’s permission

stand still – they are not generating any more foreign currency with the sales. So they cannot finance the rising import bill.

5.1

Alternative Paradigms

Two significant alternatives to the agricultural liberalization paradigm have been put

forward, both with significant impacts. These are:

Multifunctionality

According

to

this

concept,31

agriculture is not just about

producing tradable commodities, but rather has multiple functions in society. It is also about preserving landscapes and protecting farm livelihoods and rural t r a d i t i o n s , a n d i t i s a b o u t f o o d s e c u r i t y , a n d t h u s d e s e r v e s s p e c i a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n i agreements, n concept.32 trade according the of this to proponents

Multifunctionality was originally championed by the EU, in part as a way to justify maintaining subsidies for European farmers. The EU sought an alliance with the Third World nations on this concept, but the U.S. and Cairn’s Group (a bloc of major agroexporting countries) successfully argued that the EU was guilty of defending its own farmers while subsidizing exports that undercut farmers elsewhere, thus blocking support for this concept from Southern nations. Of course cheap agroexports from the U.S. and Cairn’s also damaged the ability of other farmers to make a living, but nevertheless the EU eventually stopped talking about multifunctionality. But the concept is still defended by another group of allies, the G-10 countries, who are mainly relatively developed countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Norway and Switzerland, who are not significant agroexporters but who have major small farmer-based rural economies. They defend, among other things, the economic and cultural integrity of their rural

regions, and value their countryside and food quality highly. concerned with price fluctuations. For Japan, Korea and Norway,

They are also whose food is

largely

imported,

food

security

is

regarded

as

a

public

good.

To

them

it

would

be

unacceptable international

to make their food supply market, or on political or

totally dependent on the vagaries of the economic pressures. The irrigated rice

countries, like agriculture and

Japan and Korea, additionally stress the relationship between the environment through the paddy landscape. According to the

G-10,

these

considerations

justify

an

active

role

for

government

in

the

regulation

of externalities made the G-10 collapse.

and into

in the production of public goods, and these concerns have a minor yet significant player that played role in the Cancun

Food Sovereignty At the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, family farm and peasant organizations from around the world, most of them members of Via Campesina, proposed the concept of “food sovereignty” as an alternative paradigm in which to frame issues about food and agriculture. Since that time the concept has gained tremendous popularity and echo in civil society sectors of

nations both North and South, and has been developed

internally

coherent

alternative

framework.33

Like

into a the

holistic concept

and of

16

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