Economic & Political Implications

An overview of world agricultural trade

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Trade in agricultural, forest and fishery products
Trade flow 1970 1980 1990 1995
World exports (US$ billion) 66.7 306.4 462.4 623.8
Exports by developing countries (US$ billion) 21.9 88.3 119.7 174.1
Developing countries' share of world exports (%) 32 29 26 28
Source: FAO
As the table above depicts, world agricultural trade has expanded greatly over the last twenty five years. And, as the chart also shows, most of that expansion has not been in the developing world, but in the developed world. Agricultural production for the purposes of export in G-7 countries has expanded dramatically. In recent years, this has led to the problem of genetically modified food not being separated from regularly grown food.


The US Dept. of Agriculture (
Foreign Agricultural Service (
Food and Agriculture Organzation of the UN (

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