The Rural Poverty Trap

Why agricultural trade rules need to change and what UNCTAD XI could do about it


Published: 15 June 2004

Many developing countries are stagnating or growing poorer, including their farmers, who comprise two-thirds of the world’s poor. Many of the reasons for this lie in systems of agricultural trade, including the rules of the WTO, the unfair trade policies of rich countries, and falling prices on international commodity markets. Oxfam recommends policy reforms to overcome these difficulties. At the time of UNCTAD XI in São Paulo we also call for increased political support for UNCTAD’s broad mandate to examine and find solutions to the problems of economic development.