Another problem is that, while reducing subsidies in developed countries can improve export access, it will lead to an increase in the food import bill, which increases the importance of appropriate adoption of the Marrakesh decision. Both countries, as LDCs and NFIDCs, are heavily dependent on food aid. Mali has imported 40% of its cereal needs in the past five years. In 2000-2001, it produced 2,148,000 tonnes of cereals and requires imports of 90,000 tonnes (80,000 tonnes of commercial imports and 10,000 tonnes of food aid). Instead of responding to rising import bills through increased food aid and the possibility of salting local food production, it would of course be preferable to increase production capacity with an increased area of irrigated cereal production. The government`s different positions on agricultural negotiations in the WTO were expressed in a series of formal proposals from 2000 and 2001. Some of these government proposals are summarized here. The proposals of the African WTO Group, a group of developing countries (composed of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Kenya, India, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zimbabwe) as well as separate proposals from Mali, Kenya and India all have a similar agenda. They are presented here as proposals for developing countries, with specific references for which different approaches differ. Views from the EU, South Korea and the Cairns group of agricultural exporters (Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Uruguay) are also included. Before the Uruguay Round negotiations, it became increasingly clear that the causes of confusion in global agriculture went beyond the import access problems, which had been the traditional centre of gravity of the GATT negotiations. To reach the root causes of the problems, disciplines were considered essential for all agricultural trade measures, including national agricultural policy and agricultural export subsidies. In addition, clearer rules on health and plant health measures were deemed necessary, both in their own legislation and in avoiding the circumvention of stricter rules on access to imports through unjustified and protectionist application of food security, as well as animal and plant health measures.
Consumer groups in developing countries have found that the limited benefits of trade liberalization under the AOA benefit larger and better-capitalized farms more than smaller farmers. These problems are being exaggerated by falling prices for coffee, cocoa, maize and most other raw materials in the world. News of agricultural negotiations See cotton news The impact of changes in agricultural policy is disproportionate in developing countries. In Kenya and Mali, for example, the agricultural sector plays a predominant role, not only in food production, but also in people`s employment and foreign exchange consumption. Although the agricultural sector is important in industrialized countries, it is not comparable in terms of the impact on consumer food security and the economy as a whole. Health and plant health measures: the removal of customs barriers in agriculture has raised fears of an increase in non-tariff barriers, such as health and safety standards. The SPS agreement allows a country to take measures “necessary for the protection of human, animal or plant life or heather.” The agreement establishes procedures and criteria for assessing health risks and setting appropriate levels of protection. The benchmarks are the codex Alimentarius` international food safety standards. Governments can avail themselves of national standards beyond international standards, provided they have a scientific basis for all the steps they take