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RCEP & agriculture

The RCEP trade deal will significantly impact agriculture and possibly deepen the damage to food sovereignty caused by previous trade agreements including those of the WTO.

The RCEP would threaten livelihoods in sectors like dairy, meat and other agricultural products by allowing duty free imports of subsidised products from Japan, New Zealand and Australia. India, with 100 million small scale dairy producers, and Vietnam are among the countries that will be most affected.

A leaked IP chapter proposed for the RCEP pushes for accession by all RCEP member states to the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991). Among the RCEP’s 16 countries, only seven are members of UPOV– the other nine (including Thailand, India, Indonesia and Philippines) would have to change their laws. UPOV 1991 provides monopoly rights to plant breeder rights at the cost of farmers’ rights. It makes it illegal, even criminal, for farmers to save seeds of protected varieties. CSOs have calculated that as a result of UPOV 1991, seed prices would go up by 200-600% in Thailand and by 400% in the Philippines.

Agrochemical sales and use in the Asia and Pacific region would also be boosted as a result of RCEP’s market access rules expanding trade in goods. Data exclusivity provisions in the IP chapter may also extend the patent protection periods of such products, putting upward pressure on food prices.

Another clear threat is land grabbing. If adopted, the leaked investment chapter and services chapter of RCEP may each provide that RCEP members may not discriminate against foreign corporations that want to buy local farmland. In many RCEP countries, this is not possible under current law and could have serious repercussions for agrarian reform in the region.


Kerala govt calls for movement against RCEP
The proposed agreement will have far-reaching consequences on dairying, agriculture and fishery sector sectors, says State Agriculture Minister
NDDB wants dairy sector out of RCEP negotiations
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has recommended the government to keep the dairy sector out of the purview of negotiations under the Regional Comprehensive Economic
RCEP talks: New Zealand ready to ease work-visa rules for India
India’s demand for easier movement of workers and professionals is being considered seriously by New Zealand and could be met provided market barriers to the Country’s goods are eased
Keep agriculture and dairy out of RCEP negotiations, farmers’ body tells government
The RCEP will destroy farm livelihoods especially in the domestic dairy sector.
RCEP negotiations: Tea sector seeks protection from tariff cuts
As industry grapples with surplus production, reduction of import duties will create havoc.
RCEP talks: Threat of imports worries dairy players
Co-ops, private dairies oppose freely opening Indian markets to global dairy producers.
RCEP trade deal will intensify land grabbing in Asia
The RCEP mega-trade agreement if adopted will change how governments decide on rights to land and who has access to it. Therefore, it has the potential to increase land grabbing across Asia – already a huge problem in this region.
India protects drug, agriculture business at RCEP
Three harmful provisions concerning pharmaceuticals and agriculture which were part of the RCEP have been withdrawn.
Indian dairy under threat from new trade deals
Several new trade pacts that cater to transnational corporations, like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or the proposed deals pending with Europe, threaten to radically change the map and wipe out India’s small dairy producers.
24 farmers injured as UT police use sticks, water cannons to break stir
Hundreds of farmers from Punjab, under the banner of the Kisan-Mazdoor Sangharsh committee, were lathi-charged and faced water cannons by UT police.
PepsiCo controversy: Globally, India has always refused to give in on IPR on plant varieties
The struggle for farmers’ rights over their seeds and planting materials is not playing out only in India – it’s a global phenomena.
Farmer unions demand scrapping of RCEP pact
About 40 farmer unions demanded the government walk out of the negotiations over the RCEP free trade agreement, saying it would be disastrous for the domestic agriculture sector if the pact comes through.
India: Peasant movements to scrutinise and expose the dangers of RCEP trade agreement
Several prominent peasant movements in India are holding a ‘National level consultation on the Impact of RCEP and other tree trade agreements on farmers and farming in India’ on 13th March in New Delhi.
RCEP talks: Farmers, civil society bodies warn against obligations on patenting seeds, plant varieties
Farmer and CSOs stressing that India should not agree to obligations with respect to IP on seed and planting materials at the RCEP negotiations as it hurt the livelihood of poor farmers.
Philippine civil society letter on RCEP & plant variety protection
The undersigned signatories are writing to strongly stress that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations must not place any obligation on the Philippines or any other developing country to join or implement UPOV systems
Malaysian civil society & farmer groups’ memorandum on RCEP & plant variety protection
RCEP negotiations must not include obligation to join or implement UPOV systems and in anyway undermine farmers’ rights
Sign-on letter from India against IPR on seed
A mega free trade agreement, like RCEP that undermines farmers’ seed freedoms in a mega diverse country, with seed diversity and farmers’ knowledge is unacceptable, say over 50 groups and citizens
Winners and losers
How the Global South is affected by the current trade turmoil – and old patterns of power.
India must keep agriculture out of RCEP
India’s foray into the RCEP treaty is being seen as a risky adventure. More so at a time when agriculture is passing through a terrible agrarian crisis and manufacturing sector continues to limp
Summary report of the public seminar "Supermarkets: today’s food source - Trends and impact"
The vast expansion of the supermarket sector has been supported by free trade agreements that have promoted the industrial system of food production and processing, regional and international “supply chains”.