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The rise of south-south trade: a challenge for sustainable agriculture

September 12, 2014

The rise of south-south trade: a challenge for sustainable agriculture

Patterns of trade and the distribution of market power in the global economy are shifting ? rapidly. In the past, most trade in agricultural commodities occurred between the countries of the global south (sites of production) and the countries of the global north (sites of consumption).

But, in recent years, the volume of south-south trade has increased significantly. Today, some of the environmentally most problematic crops such as soya and oil palm are predominantly traded amongst southern countries. With a total import volume of 63m tonnes in 2013, China is now by far the largest buyer of internationally traded soya, and India’s share of the global palm oil trade is estimated to have reached 20% (China 16%, EU 14%).

The booming demand for soya and palm oil in emerging markets has further fuelled agricultural expansion, deforestation, and biodiversity loss in producer countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia ? creating a new sustainability crisis in the global south.

Read more at The Guardian.

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