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Improved agriculture regulations could lessen poverty

The levels of global poverty could be improved by looking at agriculture regulation at low to middle-income countries, a new report has indicated.

It argues that, although many of these nations already have strong agriculture trades, more needs to be done to ensure that farmers are getting a fair deal from their crops.

Published by the World Bank Group, the latest edition of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) report suggested that actions such as lowering transaction costs for farmers and firms involved in domestic trade and exports or improving water permit systems for irrigation would help feed the world's growing population.

The report, which is the third in an annual series, highlights that smart regulations that are introduced to control and manage the safety and quality of agriculture, while also avoiding burdensome and inefficient requirements, could be good practices for governments to consider.

Preeti Ahuja, practice manager at the World Bank Food and Agriculture Global Practice, highlighted how creating a sustainable agriculture trade in low and middle-income countries can have a positive impact on the rest of the world.

She said: "Sustainable, inclusive investments in the agriculture and food sectors help create jobs – on farms, in markets, cities, towns and villages and throughout the farm-to-table food production and supply chains – which, alongside improved access to affordable and balanced, diverse diets, are key to fighting extreme poverty and for boosting shared prosperity."

Ms Ahuja added that governments have a "key role" to play in delivering economically, socially and environmentally responsible policies and practices that help smallholders while getting rid of burdensome processes that add to food costs.

The report highlights legal barriers for farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses operating in the agriculture trade from across 62 countries in the world. It also looks at the impact this can have on other related topics such as water, finance, markets, transport, and information and communication technology (ICT).

Being able to collect and analyse data from across the world allows countries to understand where they rank and measure their own performance with neighbouring nations.