LDCs in the Agreement on Agriculture and related decisions

  • LDCs were exempt from undertaking reduction commitments under all 3 pillars of the Agreement – market access, domestic support, export competition – in the Uruguay Round. Art. 15.2 states that LDC members would not be required to undertake reduction commitments. Graduated LDCscontinue to participate in the WTO with the original flexibility they received during the establishment of their bound duties” (WTO/EIF, 2020)
  • Provisions for LDCs and NFIDCs: LDCs and net food importing developing countries (NFIDCs) may provide certain export subsidies until the end of 2030 (article 9.4 of the Agreement on Agriculture, Ministerial Decision of 19 December 2015 (WT/MIN(15)/45-WT/L/980, G/AG/5/Rev.10); may have longer repayment terms for the acquisition of basic foodstuffs (36-54 months as opposed to the standard 18 months) (WT/MIN(15)/45-WT/L/980); and can benefit from the monetization of international food aid to redress short- or long-term food deficit (WT/MIN(15)/45-WT/L/980). After graduation, LDCs that are net importer of basic foodstuffs could “continue to benefit from some of these flexibilities after graduation if they are included in the list of NFIDCs. The Committee on Agriculture maintains the list of WTO NFIDCs within the framework of the Marrakesh NFIDC Decision” (WTO/EIF, 2020). Maldives was included in the WTO NFIDC list in 2011 based on their request to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • LDCs are required to submit less frequent notifications to WTO regarding domestic support (every two years instead of every year): “All Members must notify the Committee on Agriculture the extent of their domestic support measures, including measures exempt from reduction commitments. The requirement to notify is annual, except in the case of least-developed country Members which are only required to notify every other year”G/AG/2 (“Notification Requirements and Formats”, 1995”). After graduation, countries need to submit notifications every year.