IIMA - Course Catalogue
International Agri-Food Trade
Centre for Management in Agriculture
Prof. Poornima Varma
Course Description & Objectives
Following the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AOA), the treatment of food shifted from mere food security and self-sufficiency perspective to a tradable commodity. This is in a context where global convergence in food preference is taking place and consumers all over the world are becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of food. Recent cases and stories have added to these concerns. Globally, people are not only demanding more food, but also a safe supply of food. Recent studies show that consumers are willing to pay for food safety and quality attributes. Consumers are also willing to pay for information as well as indicators such as labelling, certification, branding etc. The magnitude of valuation varies from product to product and from region to region. Food safety issues are thus increasingly tied to global trade agreements and are the most important cause of non-tariff trade barriers. A key challenge facing developing countries is a lack of capacity to comply with the requirements of sanitary and phytosanitary conditions (SPS). Therefore, producers and exporters fear that the cost of complying with food safety standards will significantly constrain their ability to compete with international firms. This is crucial from the international trade perspective as developing countries including India are showing good prospects in agricultural trade and especially there is a high commodity concentration of agricultural trade. At this juncture, it would be of interest to understand the nature and dimensions of agricultural trade after the introduction of liberalisation, the potential for trade in agricultural products especially high value products, the structure of world agricultural market, the barriers especially the food safety standards which are affecting the market access etc.
The present course will try to cover the economic rationale for trade, potential for trade in agricultural products, export marketing and strategies, implications of trade liberalisation in general and WTO in particular, structure of world agricultural market etc. with a greater focus on food safety standards.
To provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of international trade in agricultural and food products and to provide students with basic skills for analyzing export markets and export decision making especially in a context of an increase in food safety standards
The course will deal with basic microeconomics concepts so a preliminary understanding of microeconomics will be preferable but not essential. The course will be largely lecture-cum discussion based though an attempt will be made to encourage students in analysing the data.
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