The common aim of FAO services in this category is to increase countries’ competitiveness and the efficiency of agricultural trade, and therefore increase rural incomes, by providing information and analysis on trade and markets at the global, regional and national levels, with a view to assisting policy-makers and private sector stakeholders to improve policy formulation and their negotiation abilities and thus take better informed decisions on markets and trade.
Strengthening capacities in the area of commodity markets and trade
These services aim to strengthen the national capacities of member countries in the area of commodity markets and trade, with particular emphasis on:
- Improving access to existing trade and trade policy databases;
- Monitoring supply, demand, trade flows and policy changes and other measures of trading partners;
- Undertaking analytical studies on agricultural commodity markets;
- Highlighting domestic supply side issues for improving export competitiveness;
- Intensifying assistance to value chain analyses;
- Enabling policy and economic environments for agro-industry development.
The broader objective is to equip policy-makers and technicians with information that can assist and guide them in more informed policy-making. This activity also serves as a contribution to FAO’s commitment to ensure that developing countries are fully informed and equal partners in the multilateral and regional trade negotiations on agriculture.
The service is important because it equips beneficiaries with relevant information, analysis and tools which are very useful in today’s rapidly integrating global trading environment. A few examples of the areas in which this service can contribute are the search for and development of new markets, the assessment of competition, a better understanding of the policies of other countries, evaluations of the impact of policy changes on global markets, and the maximizing of trading opportunities. In particular, the service is extremely beneficial for poorer countries that do not have the capacity to access and analyze market and trade information.
The beneficiaries of the services include, but are not limited to, policy-makers, analysts, trade negotiators, research institutes and the private sector and civil society in general in developing and transition countries. The services are provided through the publication of analyses of the commodity situation and outlook, medium term projections, databases and analytical tools, and through national and regional projects and workshops aimed at strengthening market information systems. Access to relevant databases, software, and publications is provided through national projects and training workshops. Some aspects of the service, for example the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), are provided in cooperation with other International Agencies, including UNCTAD, WTO OECD and the World Bank.
Trade information: www.fao.org/economic/est/
Market Information: www.amis-outlook.org