This text is the FAO's annual report on developments and issues in world agriculture. It monitors the global agricultural situation as well as the overall economic environment surrounding world agriculture. This year's sleeted issues feature a discussion of the WTO multilateral negotiations on agricultural trade and a study on "the cost of hunger" - the negative repercussions that hunger and malnutrition have on economic growth and poverty alleviation. The agricultural situation by main regions, both developing and developed is covered in detail, with country focuses on Ethiopia, Vietnam and Haiti. Plant pests and animal diseases are a permanent threat to crop and livestock producers and can have major economic implications. The economic impact of transboundary plant pests and animal diseases is the topic of this year's special chapter, which assesses potential impacts as well as the costs involved in control and prevention. It explains why regulatory measures are justified as a means of restricting transboundary pests and diseases and comments on the primary measures used to combat them.
Important themes in this discussion are the need for establishing cost-effective methods and levels of control as well as strong international and regional co-operation.