This chapter discusses Multinationals and agribusiness play an important role in international trade as part of the global food market. Periodic crises occur when production slow and cannot keep up with demand or when disruption occur, often due to war, such as World War I and II. The general downward trend over the last century has been agricultural productivity rising faster than the demand for food commodities, such as rice or wheat in the form of bread, for example and not foods that have been processed and have consumer value-added. International prices set the price in each location by determining the opportunities that people have to buy and sell; depending on many factors, countries can manipulate their abundance and prices. When governments try to subsidize production directly, in the presence of international trade this doesn’t alter price, and therefore consumption is not altered at all. In very low income countries, governments tended to tax farmers in order to help urban people, but in rich countries, governments tended to support farmers at the expense of consumer in the urban areas. Since the WTO, there has been a marked reduction in agricultural taxation, and international trade negotiation has focused more on intellectual property and access to natural resources. among regions and the long run trends in rural poverty, and specifically the “great escape” from poverty that comes from the structural transformation out of agriculture into more diverse activities that comes with urbanization as mortality rates fall, and then fertility and birth rates fall and population growth rate declines, while in the meantime, the rural population growth rate rises. These rural population growth rates vary greatly globally, but the trend is slow growth, new workers in non-farm jobs, and farming population rates falling, so that farmers take over greater plots of land and approach the structural transformation turning point when rural population density reaches its peak, well after urbanization begins. The world will reach peak rural in the 2020s, and with the accompanying mechanization and rural intensification will come the escape out of poverty, which can be measured by indicators such as child stunting. The link between demographics and sustainable agriculture are incredibly important for poverty reduction.
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