Second MENA Trade Workshop:
March 21 & 23, 2016 Trade, WTO, and Food Security
Proceedings and abstracts Second MENA Trade Workshop on Trade, WTO, and Food Security March 21-23 2016 Sultan Qaboos University
PREAMBLE The WTO chair at SQU conducts research, curriculum, and outreach activities which are relevant to both the Middle East and North African Countries (MENA) and WTO. Nowadays food security has become more than ever before a worldwide concern particularly in the MENA region. Food security is explicitly mentioned in the preamble of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) as a non-trade concern that should be given consideration in trade negotiations along with protecting the environment and the possible negative effects of the implementation of the agreement (AoA) on the net food-importing developing countries. However during the last food crises (2007/2008 and 2010/2011), global food prices spiked in unprecedented way and world food markets were disrupted in such a way that many countries, scholars, and development institutions questioned the reliance on trade and world markets to solve developing countries food security issues. The role of WTO and trade disciplines in the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) was considered not flexible enough to allow countries to pursue their national food security policies. New and old paradigms of food security emerged to emphasize in different degrees the complementarity between trade, international cooperation, and self- reliance for food production. In this regard, WTO chair at SQU is organizing a two-day workshop to discuss the linkage between trade, WTO and
food security as well as other trade-related and food security issues in the region and beyond. The workshop will be an opportunity for interested academicians and practitioners from the region to present their research findings and discuss food security in light of resource scarcity and international market instability. In addition to price variability, climate change is creating new challenges to the future of food security in the region. Agriculture in the MENA region is considered to be one that will be mostly affected by climate change. Year to year localized production variability is expected to increase and with potentially negative impacts on the food security of local communities. Trade, as it connects “the land of the plenty to the land of the few”- thereby increasing food availability-could contribute to food security solutions but more innovative mitigation and adaptation policies are needed to attenuate the negative effects of climate change. Dr. Houcine Boughanmi WTO Chair WORKSHOP PROGRAM Day 1: Monday 21, 2016,
Conference Room 219, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University Session 1: Chairperson: Houcine Boughanmi, WTO chair , SQU Time 8:009:00 9:00 9:15 9:1510:00 10:0010:45
Registration Introduction (Houcine Boughanmi, WTO Chair, Sultan Qaboos University) The New Approach to Food Sovereignty in the Arab World (Jane Harrigan, School of Oriental and African Studies, School of London, UK) Hedging and Risk Management in Wheat Trading: The Case of Oman
(Paul Dubravec, Consultant, ATI, USA) 10:45Coffee break 11:15 Session 2: Chairperson: Dr Msafiri Mbaga, Associate Professor Department of Natural Resource Economics 11:15- Food security and WTO: Policy Space for MENA in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture 11:45 (AoA), (Houcine Boughanmi, Associate Professor &WTO Chair, SQU) 11:45- Agricultural development and Food security policies in Oman ( Naufael Rasheed; Ministry of 12:15 Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman) 12:15- How to Make Patent Law Work for Food Security (Bashar H. Malkawi, University of Sharjah, 12:45 UAE) 12:45Lunch break 1:45 Session 3: Chairperson: Dr. Slim Zekri, Associate Professor and Head Department of Natural Resource Economics.
Dynamics of Agricultural Transformation in Sri Lanka: Implications of Agricultural Trade Policy for Food Self-Sufficiency and Food Security, (Jeevika Weerahewa, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) On the Effect of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures on Oman’s Fish Exports to the EU: An Empirical Analysis (Shekar Bose, Sultan Qaboos University) Impact of Food and Oil Prices on Poverty in Food Dependent Oil Exporting Countries: The Case of Oman (Hemesiri Kotagama, Sultan Qaboos University)
2:152:35 2:352:55 2:55Coffee break 3:15 Session 4: Chairperson: Dr Shekar Bose, Associate Professor Department of Natural Resource Economics 3:15Climate Change, Water and Food Security in the MENA Region: An Empirical Analysis (Dr 3:35 Slim Zekri, SQU) Statistical Evidence (or Lack Thereof) On Climate Variation as a Factor Causing Food Price 3:35Volatility: Cointegration Analysis Using a VAR Model of Monthly Temperature and Food Prices :3:55 (DVP Prasada, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka Economics of Climate Change Adaptation: A Ricardian Analysis 3:554:15 (L.H.P.Gunaratne, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) 4:15Closing remarks: Dr Houcine Boughanmi, WTO chair 4:30
Day 2: Tuesday 22, 2016: Field trip Day 3: Wednesday 23, 2016: Training session (for invited participants): Hedging and Risk Management presented by Paul Dubravec, Vice President of Advance Trading, Inc. (8:30 am to 4:00 pm)
TRAINING PROGRAM Wednesday 23, March 2016, (8:30 am to 4:00 pm) Conference Room 219, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University
Hedging and Risk Management by Paul Dubravec, Vice President of Advance Trading, Inc., USA
Introduction to CME Group/Chicago Board of Trade
•History •Evolution of the CME/CBOT trade. •Purpose – who are the participants, why?
Exchange Traded Instruments of the CBOT
•Contract terminology and specifications, futures and options •Mechanics of the futures contract, what is being traded? •Hedge – definition and basic mechanics of a hedge.
Commodity Price Risk Management
•Understanding options – terminology, pricing, how they are utilized. •Utilizing Put and Call options for the consumer/end user •Options utilization case study.
The New Approach to Food Sovereignty in the Arab World Jane Harrigan School of Oriental and African Studies, School of London, UK
The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is often characterized as one of the most food insecure regions in the world based on its high reliance on imports to meet its food needs. Consequently, the 2007/08 global food crisis, in which international food prices rocketed and a large number of food exporters introduced export embargoes, had a profound impact on the region, with imported food price inflation leading to declining living standards, trade deficits, and fiscally
costly measures to try to mitigate the impact of food price increases. The second wave of international food price increases in 2010/11 also contributed to political unrest which in some countries was manifest in the uprisings of the Arab Spring. As a result many Arab states started to reappraise their approach to food security, placing greater emphasis on domestic “macro food sovereignty”, defined as a desire to exert greater power and control over food supplies which went beyond the narrow considerations of economic efficiency. This concern for food sovereignty was manifest in two new policy thrusts in the region: greater emphasis on domestic food production, particularly the production of cereals, often at a high economic cost; and the acquisition of land overseas in host countries to directly source food requirements. This paper assesses the impact of the global food crisis on Arab states and the controversial policy response in the form of the greater emphasis on food sovereignty.
Hedging and Risk Management in Wheat Trading: The Case of Oman Paul Dubravec Advanced Trading Inc., Chicago, USA The objective of this study is to quantify which hedging practices may provide the best form of hedging and risk management for the procurement of wheat in Oman. The study will provide recommendations as to how to implement/execute a prudent program of price risk management, or hedging, to assist wheat importing companies in managing price volatility of their wheat purchases. We will be analyzing 10 years of price data for Chicago wheat futures (SRW), Kansas City Wheat futures (HRW) and Matif wheat futures, which is milling wheat. The data will be gathered and compared to the limited data available on the procurement price of wheat in Oman. This will provide the basis of the study in comparing values when those pricings occurred to what futures were trading during that same time. We will also be comparing values from the number of origins that we have data on so as to compare those values to those that have been provided by wheat importing companies. After analyzing the pricing data, the next step is performing a pricing or price risk management simulation whereby we simulate the purchase of exchange traded instruments be it a call or put option on a continuous/consistent basis over the five year time frame. In the simulation we are assuming that Call positions are purchased six months prior to the actual purchase date against forward buying of deferred wheat usage. At the purchase date, the simulation then purchases a Put option to manage downside risk that will remain in place through the actual time line of the cargo utilization. As the wheat is utilized the risk on that amount of wheat no longer exists so the corresponding hedge is lifted.
In order to fully assess the broad spectrum of hedging possibilities, we followed the same protocol as we did in the options example using futures contracts in the out forward commodity usage simulation, while covering priced cargos, exposed to downside price risk, between shipment pricing and the time the wheat is fully utilized.
Food Security and WTO: Policy Space for MENA in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture Houcine Boughanmi Department of Natural Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos Univeristy The presentation analyzes the link between trade, food security and WTO as it is reflected in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), and the WTO chair activities, focusing on developing countries, particularly the MENA region. The recent food crises reflected in the unprecedented global price swings of agricultural commodities have raised real questions on the role of WTO in providing a level playing field for international trade and on the ability of WTO rules and regulation to enhance food security in developing and least developed countries. The presentation argues that that Uruguay Round AoA provides a wide policy space for developing countries to design and implement their national food security policies. The current market and trade environment are however quite different from those prevailing during the negotiation of the of the AoA , requiring an adaptation of trade rules to consider more forcefully the emerging food security needs of developing countries. The high and more variable price environment of food commodities is highly suitable to facilitate a revision of rules that put some more emphasis on consumer food security and more disciplines on food exports restrictions. The MENA countries with limited agricultural resources and high urban concentration should play a more active role in trade negotiations to ensure that WTO rules are not compatible with their long –term food security strategies.
Food Security in Oman: Challenges & Opportunities Naufal H. Rasheed Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman
Food security is a multidimensional topic as many elements & aspects contribute in formulating its definition such as availability, affordability and accessibility of food; in addition food quality, safety and nutrition are becoming integral parts of the concept. However, agriculture by its broader term is considered as an essential pillar of food security. Oman has witnessed consecutive food security stages: at earlier period, specifically prior to the exploration of oil at sixth decade of the last century, food selfsufficiency (FSS ) as well as food security were achieved at higher standard in most towns and villages. Thereafter, due to urbanization coincided with growing food chain business in large cities; food import has been gradually alleviated. Nowadays wheat, rice, sugar, vegetable oil and legumes are 100% imported, whereas other food commodities, namely fish, date, vegetables, fruits, red meat, dairy and eggs are now locally produced at different rates of FSS. They are ranged from partial to full self-sufficient. Despite the fact that agriculture & fisheries sectors are currently facing many challenges & obstacles, but at the time there are still huge potentials & opportunities to improve food production from different sources. This can be achieved by adopting appropriate polices & directives. They include: long term food security strategy preparation, integrated natural resources management, modernize traditional food production systems, upgrade agribusiness management & facilities, introduction practical investment plan along with fostering the role and contribution of both government and private sectors. The outcomes of such actions are to gradually modernizing & improve food production, increasing productivities, improving FSS, reducing food imports, supporting economical diversification and finally achieving more contribution to GDP. Accordingly, the present study is highlighting various aspect and prospects to achieve food security in Oman.
How to Make Patent Law Work for Food Security Bashar H. Malkawi College of Law, University of Sharjah, P.O Box 27272, Sharjah-UAE
Improvement in agricultural productivity is essential for achieving sustainable food security and reducing rural poverty in Arab countries. Patent laws are example of laws- among other laws- that affect food security and poverty reduction. However, many patent laws and policies in Arab countries are not fully aligned with the goals to improve agriculture productivity and food security as well. The ways in which patent laws policy affect food security are complex and multifaceted.
To address these issues, the paper will analyze the patent laws and policies to explore any changes needed to improve food security in Arab countries without significantly undercutting incentives for innovation. The paper will describe plant biotechnology, domestic policies affecting access to patented technologies, and the stance on implementation of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other efforts to harmonize patent policy internationally. The paper then will analyze the impact of patent practices and policies on access to biotechnology and presents the case for change across a spectrum of domestic and foreign patent policies. The paper will suggest how patent law might be changed to advance food security. These changes may include for instance maintaining or expanding available patent exemptions, a working requirement, and transfer of agricultural technologies. The recommendations would improve access to patented biotechnology by allowing working and for applying patented technology to resolve food security problems without concern about infringement claims.
Dynamics of Agricultural Transformation in Sri Lanka: Implications of Agricultural Trade Policy for Food Self-Sufficiency and Food Security
Jeevika Weerahewa Department of Agricultural Economics and Business management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
At the time of gaining political independence in 1948, Sri Lanka was a net importer of most of its food needs particularly, rice, wheat, and sugar. The successive governments of the country had adopted a drive for domestic food production soon after the independence. With continued land development and support prices for rice, the domestic food production sector growth picked up some momentum and this was further strengthened after 1960 by the increasing prices of imported food items. The country commenced an open economic policy in 1977 ending the above import substitution development strategy and launching an export promotion development strategy. The successive governments that came to power after 1977, despite their policy orientation, wanted to ensure that food is available in sufficient quantities in the country to meet the food requirement of its
nation. They adopted a myriad of policy measures to increase food availability either through domestic production or importation.
The objective of this study is to present the agricultural policy framework adopted by the government of Sri Lanka during the period 1977-2014 and to document associated transformation of food production portfolio and food consumption basket of the country. The paper distinguishes the two concepts, food selfsufficiency and food security, and discusses desired changes expected in the process of agricultural transformation. The study mainly relies on data on food production, consumption, trade, prices and tax and subsidy rates extracted from various government publications for the analysis.
First, the paper chronicles various trade policy measures implemented and describes how the agricultural policy framework of the country was shaped up due to commitments with the World Trade Organization and the Regional Trade Agreements. Second, it presents food balance sheets of the country during different policy regimes. Third, an attempt is made to identify drivers of food production and consumption and decompose them into demand driven, technology driven or policy and institutional driven changes. Finally the paper discusses what policy and institutional changes are required to transform the agricultural sector of Sri Lanka to achieve food security at the national level.
On the Effect of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures on Oman’s Fish Exports to the EU: An Empirical Analysis Shekar Bose, Houcine Boughanmi, Amina Marhoun Rashed Al Naabi, Jaynab Begum Yousuf
Department of Natural Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman.
Being a net exporter of fish and fishery products, it is of strategic importance to Oman to study the effect of technical measures (e.g. Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) measures) on fish trade. Keeping this strategic importance in mind, this paper empirically examines whether the SPS
measures significantly influence the fish exports from Oman to key European countries. Using secondary data collected from national and international sources, a dynamic unbalanced panel data model is estimated using the Least Square Dummy Variable (LSDV) and the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) techniques. To examine cross-section effects, fixed effects specification of the dynamic model was estimated while applying the LSDV method. As the main focus of this paper is on the trade impact of measures notified by importing countries under the SPS and TBT Agreements, a simple dummy variable (DNTB) was generated using the data of notifications pertaining to Oman appearing under the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and included in the model. The results from the two methods are presented and compared using appropriate model selection criteria and diagnostics. It is found that the LSDV method provided statistically superior and persuasive results than that of its counterpart method. The coefficient of the variable with regard to the effect of SPS measures (DNTB) carries an expected sign but its associated t-value suggests that the fish exports to the selected EU markets have not been significantly influenced by such measures. However, the lagged dependent variable (i.e. lagged export value), domestic ban on exports (DBAN) of selected species, D2009 and D2010 (structural shifts), and exchange rate, exert significant influence (with expected signs) on the value of fish exports.
Impact of Food and Fuel Prices on Poverty in Food Import Dependent and Oil Exporting Economies: The Case of Sultanate of Oman
H. B. Kotagama, H. Boughanmi, H. A. I. Alfarsi, N. S. M. S. Al Hamedi Department of Natural Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University.
The surge and volatility of food and fuel prices since year 2008 to 2014 has changed its trend to decreasing food and fuel prices since 2015. However the rate of decrease in food prices has been less than the drastic rate of decrease in fuel prices. Predictions are that fuel prices may not revert back to high prices that prevailed in 2014. This scenario of relatively high food prices to low fuel prices, would adversely impact poverty and food security in countries that are highly food import dependent and oil export dependent, such as the Sultanate of Oman.
Non-renewable resource based fuels and mineral products exports are the major part of the trade balance, accounting for 83% of total exports and agricultural imports represents 12.4% of the imports in the Sultanate of Oman. The trade balance of the Sultanate of Oman though was in surplus up to 2014, with the decrease in the oil price, has been in deficit in 2015. The government of the Sultanate of Oman, through its budgetary proposals for 2016 has initiated reforms to augment government revenue, through increases in business taxes and phasing down subsidies on fuel. Further policy initiatives and economic reforms are being considered.
Oman imported 44% of the food consumed, 100% of rice and about 95% of wheat. Expenditure on food is the largest percentage (31%) of the total household income followed with transportation (17%) that is largely cost on fuel. Thus changes in either, food or fuel prices, would have a significant impact on poverty. In the Sultanate of Oman a family is classified as poor if it spends more than 60% of the household expenditure on food. Based on this standard 12% of Omani families were classified as poor based on Household Expenditure and Income Survey conducted in 2007-2008 compared to 8% in 1999-2000. Studies, done post 2008 surge in global food prices, have quantified the resulting increase in food insecurity in the Sultanate of Oman, measured as percentage of households unable to access Nutrionaly Adequate Socially Preferred Least Cost diet as 5.3%. The phasing down of fuel subsidies may further aggravate poverty and household food security. In this context quantitative analysis on the impact and sensitivity of food and fuel price changes on incidence of poverty would be useful to assess policy options to mitigate poverty and manage public finances.
This study has used a simulation model that estimates the poverty impacts caused by changes in food and fuel prices developed by the World Bank. The model enables the estimation of poverty head count and poverty depth indicators and the required governmental financial transfers to mitigate poverty. The model thus allows estimating poverty incidence and governmental costs on poverty alleviation caused by exogenous factors of price changes and/or endogenous government policies that would change food and fuel prices.
Secondary macroeconomic data and simulated data using the most recent Household Expenditure and Income Survey of the Sultanate of Oman have been used for the study. The model has been tested and validated and preliminary results show that poverty incidence is responsive to food and fuel price changes.
Climate Change, Water and Food Security in the MENA Region: An Empirical Analysis
Slim Zekri Department of Natural Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University. Oman’s agricultural sector totally depends on irrigation from groundwater. Groundwater resources in Oman are located in small coastal alluvial aquifers temporally and sporadically recharged. Climate change will be manifested through an increase of temperature and the rise of sea level. The sea level rise will cause seawater intrusion and an increased salinity of the aquifers. This paper is based on groundwater simulation model MODFLOW applied for the case of Jamma’s aquifer in the Batinah coastal area. Most of the agricultural activity is located in the coastal regions of Batinah and Salalah. Two scenarios are considered RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, where the sea level rise will range between 24 cm and 63 cm by 2050 and 2070 respectively. To estimate the economic losses due to climate change on the agricultural sector we assumed that current rate of pumping from wells are at their maximum and could not be increased, due to the limits on well yields. A crop production function was used to determine the effect of deficit irrigation on value of crop productivity. The MODFLOW model allowed determining the extent of the irrigated area affected by salinity in the next 35 to 55 years. Results showed that around 64% to 75% of the cropped area will have to be abandoned by 2050 and 2070 respectively due to excessive salinity in the groundwater in the case of business as usual. Economically, it is expected that the present value of losses will vary from Rials 14.8 Million by 2050 to Rials 25 Million by 2070, using a 2% discount rate. On a per hectare basis it is expected that the gross profit will fall from a current 100% to 40% and 22% by 2050 and 2070 using 2015constant prices and without discounting.
Statistical Evidence (or Lack Thereof) On Climate Variation as a Factor Causing Food Price Volatility: Cointegration Analysis Using a VAR Model of Monthly Temperature and Food Prices DVP Prasada and A Seneviratne Volatility of food prices is a crucial aspect of access to food in particular and of food security in general. During the recent 2007/2008 recession, food price hikes had
significant policy and poverty impacts, world over. The explanation of food price volatility is a long standing research area in international agricultural economics. Among the factors affecting food price volatility discussed in the previous literature, macroeconomic variables have received most attention to date. We consider price time series of five food categories at monthly frequency over the period from 1990 January to 2015 November and investigate the relationships between different food prices indices and temperature time series. Cointegration analysis is performed to detect shared stochastic trends and to detect causality arising from climate time series to food price series using a vector autoregressive model. The preliminary results highlight that in a autoregressive model with five period lag structure , price series for dairy and oils share a stochastic trend with monthly climate series. In a model with a ten period lag structure, only dairy price series is integrated with climate volatility. Cereal, meat, and sugar price series are not integrated with climate volatility for either model. Next, we perform an analysis of Granger-causality to determine the direction of causality between climate volatility and food price indices. In a model with ten period lag structure and controls for energy prices and agricultural output index, climate volatility causes volatility in price series for meat. For other food price indices, causality is not statistically significant in any direction at 10 percent significance. The causality between temperature volatility and meat prices poses a paradox in that the direction of the link is negative; indicating that second period and ninth period lag values of temperature negatively affects the meat price index statistically significantly. We claim that the above causality is mediated by the temperature-linked disease outbreaks, mainly Foot and Mouth Disease and SARS epidemic which show cyclical patterns of outbreaks. At the very least, the significant global livestock disease outbreaks in 2002/2003 appear to create a structural break in the meat price series.
Economics of Climate Change Adaptation: A Ricardian Analysis L.H.P.Gunaratne and Aruna Sooriyaarachchi
Department of Agricultural Economics and Business management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
The agricultural sector is the most important source of employment for the majority of the workforce and the major land use practice in Sri Lanka. However, its contribution to the gross domestic product has declined substantially during the past decades (from 30 % in 1970 to 10.8 in 2014) and climate related factors are partly responsible for these changes. With this background, the economic impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector were studied using a survey data that covered 40 agro-ecological regions in Sri Lanka. It was found that, of the 321 respondents contacted, 92% were aware of long term shifts in temperature, 88% were aware about long term shifts in precipitation and 74% were aware on long term shifts in drought. A Ricardian model was estimated and it clearly indicated that temperature and precipitation are most variables through which the climate change impacts are transferred. Of the temperature variables included, linear and quadratic terms of temperatures of First inter-monsoon, South-west monsoons, and North-east monsoons were statistically significant. In addition, linear and quadratic precipitation values of second inter-monsoon were statistically significant. According to the estimated model, there are: Minimum net revenue (NR) receive when temperature of first inter-monsoon is 27.26 C; Maximum NR receive when temperature of south west monsoon is equals to 27.67 C; and Maximum NR is at when temperature of North-east monsoon season is equals to 25.67 C. The model has been used to forecast the changes in agricultural production and net revenue due to the climate change. Sri Lanka being an agricultural country needs to focus more on better adaptation strategies to combat the challenges of climate change on agriculture. The findings further call for monitoring of climate change, and dissemination of information to farmers to encourage adaptations to climate change.
BIOGRAPHIES OF PRESENTERS
Jane Harrigan: is Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. She works on food security in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in sub-Saharan Africa. She has also worked extensively on the political economy of IMF and World Bank economic reform programmes in both regions as well as on foreign aid more generally. Prior to joining SOAS Professor Harrigan held posts at the University of Manchester and in the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi. She has acted as a consultant to numerous international organizations, including the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the African Development Bank and UNCTAD. She is the author of eight books and numerous journal papers, including the 2009 book 'Aid and Power in the Arab
World' and the 2014 book 'The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignty' both published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Paul Dubravec: Born and raised in rural Illinois, Paul's interest in agriculture began early in life, spending a great deal of time working on production agriculture operations in the area. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Agricultural Economics/ Agribusiness Management, Paul began his career with a large multinational food/ commodity trading firm as a merchandiser of specialty grains and feed ingredients. Paul has been with Advance Trading since 1994, working as a Commercial Broker and Commodity Merchandising Consultant. His client base includes those who merchandise, warehouse grain, various processors and other end-users in the Midwest, Southern, and Southwestern portions of the United States as well as international clients with operations in multiple countries. Paul currently serves as an officer on the board of directors at Advance Trading and is active in professional organizations, including state and national trade associations. He has been an active participant on the National Grain and Feed Arbitration Committee, currently serves on the board of a major state grain and feed association and serves on other various trade association committees. Aside from agriculture, Paul serves on the board of Risings Stars Academy, Inc. and the community advisory Board of Directors for the Children's Hospital of Illinois. Paul remains active in many philanthropic organizations both locally and internationally, including Rotary International. Paul resides in Bloomington, Illinois with his wife and three children.
Houcine Boughanmi: is currently the WTO Chair and Associate Professor in Agricultural Economics at the Department of Natural Resource Economics at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). He got his bachelor degree from the University of Tunis, then his MSc from the University of Kentucky, USA and His PhD from Oregon State University, USA. Dr. Boughanmi has More than 30 years of experience in teaching, research and community services and has published extensively in reputable academic journals. Dr. Boughanmi‘s research interest includes international trade using partial and general equilibrium modeling, food demand, food policy and food security. He published on the effect of WTO on Oman’s trade and the GCC regional trade arrangements and is currently working on MENA Regional Trade Arrangement using the GTAP Framework. Under the WTO chair program he is currently coordinating a number of research activities dealing with Food security and WTO related issues. He also served as a co-investigator in a number of SQU funded research projects in the areas of agricultural production and marketing. He served for the second consecutive year as the Academic coordinator of the WTO Regional Trade Policy Course held at Sultan Qaboos University.
Naufel Rasheed: is currently working as an advisor of Agriculture Policy and Investment to the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries. Prior to that, he worked as CEO (2011 – 2012) of Green Waves Group for landscaping construction projects – UAE. ; COO (2008-2011) Oman & Emirates Investment Holding Company – Oman; Assistant to the president for Technical Affaires (2004-2008) Arab Authority for Agriculture Investment and Development (AAAID), Sudan; Adviser to the president (1998-2003) Arab Authority for Agriculture Investment and Development (AAAID) , Sudan; Dean Assistant for Scientific Affaires (1993-1996), College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Iraq; President (1989 -1997) Food Science & Technology Society, Iraq; Expert ( 1986 – 1994 ) Arab Federation for Food Industries, Iraq. He prepared of more than (36) studies focused on food security in Oman, investment plan & policies, investment map, technical report, road maps for development of livestock sector, dates, feed, rangeland etc.. Dr Naufal is a graduate from Oklahoma State University, USA where he got his PhD in 1983 in Food Sciences. He got his MSc in Animal Sciences from the University of Baghdad in coordination with University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (1976) and his BSc in Agriculture Sciences from the University of Baghdad, Iraq.
Bashar H. Malkawi: is Professor of Law at University of Sharjah. He received his S.J.D from American University, Washington College of Law in 2005, and LLM in International Trade Law from University of Arizona in 2001. His academic career has traversed both Business and Law schools, teaching a variety of business law courses in Jordan, UAE, Italy, and United States. He spent two years as Assistant Dean at Hashemite University's Faculty of Economics and as Associate Dean for Graduate programs at University of Sharjah College of Law. He is currently the Dean for the College of Law at the University of Sharjah. His research agenda focuses on the role of the World Trade Organization, regional trade agreements, Arab economic integration, with specific projects examining Arab countries' participation in the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, the application of international law theory to WTO, and the global regulation of intellectual property. Prof. Malkawi is the author of Jordan and the World Trading System: A Case Study for Arab Countries, International Encyclopedia of Law for Intellectual Property. Over the years, he has written articles on various aspects of WTO law, intellectual property, business law that have appeared in major law reviews and been cited. In addition to law articles and academic books, Prof. Malkawi also writes for the popular press in the United States and Middle East. In recognition of his outstanding scholarly achievements to date, Prof. Malkawi received several research awards. Apart from his academic activities, Prof. Malkawi regularly provides consulting service to international organizations, governments, and multinational law firms on matters related to business law.
Jeevika Weerahewa: is the Professor of Agricultural Economics attached to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Faculty of
Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She has a B.Sc. and M.Phil in Agriculture from the University of Peradeniya and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Guleph, Canada. She has been teaching fundamental and applied courses in Economics with a special focus placed on agriculture and allied fields at the University of Peradeniya since 1987. Her primary research area is Agricultural Trade Policy. She is a Collaborator of the International Food Policy Research Institute, a Hewlett Fellow of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium and a Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network. She provides her services to the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank as a consultant on part time and intermittent basis.
Shekar Bose: is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Economics of the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Before joining the Department in September 2011, Dr. Bose worked as Fisheries Management Expert at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Oman for three years (August 2008 - August 2011). His first academic appointment was at the Australian Maritime College (AMC) in 1994 and remained at AMC for 13 years. Dr. Bose served as the Head of the Department of Fisheries and the Marine Environment at AMC for two years and as the Head of the Graduate School of Marine Resource Management for one year. He achieved his MA in Economics from Lakehead University, Canada in 1993, and PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2001. His research interests entail areas such as applied microeconomics, natural resource economics and management, sustainable development, policy analysis, and regulatory effectiveness. Hemesiri Kotagama: is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Natural Resource Economics, Sultan Qaboos University, and Sultanate of Oman. He served at University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka as a teacher and professor for 25 years. He has obtained his Ph.D. (Natural Resource Management/ Economics), University of London, M.Sc. (Agricultural Economics). University of the Philippines at Los Banos, B.Sc. (Agriculture) Honours, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He also has obtained diplomas/certificates on Environmental Economics, Gothenburg University, Sweden, Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis, Harvard University, U.S.A. Environmental Assessment and Management in Agricultural Development, University of London, U.K. His research has been in the applied areas of Environmental and Natural resource Economics and Management. He has served in several national committees guiding environmental policy and in national technical committees evaluating major investment projects in Sri Lanka. He has been extensively involved in training professionals on Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Economic valuation in the South Asian region. His current research interest includes farm business and food security analysis.
Slim Zekri: has an Agriculture Economics Engineering degree from the University of Tunis Carthage, A Master degree in Environmental Planning from the International Center of Agronomic Mediterranean Studies. He earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics & Quantitative Methods from the University of Cordoba, Spain in 1991. Dr Zekri has worked for one year at the University of Cordoba, then joined the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ecole Superieure d’Agriculture de Mograne where he worked as Assistant professor, then Associate Professor and Head of the department for six years. In 2002 Dr Zekri joined the University of Minnesota as Visiting professor for one year. Since 2003 he joined the Sultan Qaboos University as full time faculty. Currently he is Associate Professor, and Head of the Department of Natural Resource Economics, Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. He has recently been nominated as Global Fellow in the Daugherty Water for Food Institute in the University of Nebraska. Dr Zekri published more than 70 papers in International Journals and in International Conferences. He worked as an expert for national and international agencies such as the World Bank, FAO, ICBA, ICARD. His main research and consultancies deal with natural resource economics, mainly agriculture, water economics, policy and governance. He is specialist in optimization and multiple criteria decision making. He is Associate editor of the journal Water Economics and Policy and the Journal Agricultural and Marine Sciences. He served as reviewer for more than 10 journals. He participates regularly to international conferences of the profession.
D.V.P. Prasada: is affiliated to University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka as a lecturer. His academic training is in the areas of agricultural economics, development studies, and economics with a doctoral degree from University of New South Wales. His research interests are in development economics and international development.
L. H. Premakumara Gunaratne: is a Professor attached to Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Currently, he serves as the Director of the Agribusiness Centre and the Chairman of the Board of Study in Business Administration of the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. He received his B.Sc. Agriculture degree from the University of Peradeniya and M.Sc, M.A. and Ph.D degrees from the University of Hawaii. He has worked in the areas of Environmental Economics, Econometrics and Production Economics.
Houcine Boughanmi (chair) Elibel Covarrubias Amani Al Alawi Ahmed Shammakhi Slim Zekri Hemesiri Kotagama Msafiri Mbaga