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particuwell as better access to information and finance are needed to better exploit the potential of bioelectricity and bioheat in developing countries.

     Promoting research and development to improve the operational stability and reducing capital costs promises to improve the attractiveness of bioenergy, especially of small and medium-scale biogas digesters and thermo-chemical gasifiers, is important for the developing South. The development of product standards and dissemination of knowledge is also key. A long history of policy failures and a wide variety of locally produced generators with large differences in performance have led to considerable skepticism about bioenergy in many countries. The development of product standards as well as better knowledge dissemination can contribute to increase market transparency and improve consumer confidence.

     Experience of various bioenergy promotion programs has shown that proper operation and maintenance are key to success and sustainability of low-cost and small-scale applications. Therefore, building local capacity, ensuring that local consumers are closely engaged in the development as well as the monitoring and maintenance of facilities, and increased access to finance for bioenergy are necessary. Compared to other off-grid energy solutions, bioenergy often exhibits higher initial capital costs but lower long-term feedstock costs. This cost structure often forces poor households and communities to forego investments in modern bioenergy, even when payback periods are very short. Improved access to finance can help to reduce these problems.

7.2.7 Enhancing governance of trade and technologies

Agricultural policymaking and AKST investment are affected by global governance issues that may apply in a number of economic sectors, including agriculture. This section addresses a suite of governance issues in trade and environmental decision-making, including the democratization of global trade regimes, as well as international competition policy to govern corporate power over commodity markets and promote more equitable distribution of agricultural rents that could help drive development and improve rural livelihoods. The section also reviews policy options for international instruments (agreements and intuitions) to assess the impact of proposed trade agreements and emerging technologies against the development and sustainability goals; these processes, including strategic impact assessments of proposed trade agreements and comparative technology assessments, could help educate policy makers and stakeholders, increase transparency, and assist in making decisions that would support development goals. Governance of trade and environmental decision-making

If trade negotiation processes were made more transparent, social and environmental concerns would likely be better represented in the resulting agreements. The principles of good governance, such as representation, transparency, accountability, access to information and systematic conflict resolution should be fully internalized and implemented by international trade and environmental institutions (Stiglitz, 2006). Developing countries, which often lack personnel


and institutional capacity to deal with the complexity of trade negotiations are at a distinct disadvantage negotiating for the interests of their rural sectors in these fora, and often lack resources to analyze important and highly complex issues, to develop negotiating positions and to respond quickly and effectively to their various negotiating teams. Civil society participation is limited from negotiations through dispute resolution process, much of which takes place behind closed doors.

     Policies to strengthen developing country negotiating capacity in trade talks are important. Trade capacity development, as a part of "aid for trade" packages, are one option. Consideration may also be given to establishing national and regional teams of experts with the necessary authority to analyze the interests of their stakeholder groups and to establish appropriate negotiating positions.

     Another option is to develop CSO consultative committees to support negotiators, giving farmer organizations, business and NGOs the opportunity to provide valuable input and support negotiators. A number of countries, for example Kenya, the Philippines and India, have created national consultative committees to the WTO (Murphy, 2006).

     Without effective global environmental governance, nation-states, subject to the pressures of globalization, may drift towards a low-level environmental policy convergence that is insensitive to local ecological conditions and does not respect the diversity of preferences and priorities across and within nations (Zarsky, 1999). The creation of a United Nations Environmental Organization, perhaps modeled on the World Health Organization, has been proposed as one policy approach to address this significant global governance deficit and promote technologies and behaviors that respect ecosystems more effectively (Esty, 1994; Friends of the UNEO, 2007). International competition policy and antitrust: governing commodity markets to promote development goals

Vertical and horizontal concentration in global commodity markets is a primary cause of market distortion. Possible policy responses include an international review mechanism for proposed mergers and acquisitions among agribusiness companies that operate in a number of countries simultaneously (Stiglitz, 2006), the establishment of international competition policy, and the reestablishment of state trading enterprises.

      One of the major anticompetitive effects of globalization has been a rapid concentration of market power away from producers into the hands of a limited number of trade and retail companies (Vorley et al., 2007). What looks like buying and trading between countries is often the redistribution of capital among subsidiaries of the same parent multinational corporation (Shand, 2005). As a result, the negotiating power within agricultural chains over the past 20 years has moved rapidly away from the producer end of the market chain. The first level of consolidation was made at the wholesale level through a series of mergers, acquisitions and takeovers that reduced the number of international traders from hundreds of family based enterprises to a handful of international trade houses that dominate particu-