Agriculture and Food Security


Our team prepares high-quality technical assistance and economic analysis related to agriculture and food security. Our team has experience in preparing high-quality outputs on the impact of a wide range of agricultural issues, including all aspects of the WTO negotiations in agriculture, WTO accession for agriculturalgoods, commodity trade, preference erosion, competitiveness, adjustment and Aid-for-Trade.

Our practice

Our team’s experience and expertise covers a wide range of written outputs, briefing papersand hands-on technical assistancerelated to agriculture and food security. In the WTO context, we have provided backstopping support to developing countries at the WTO on agriculture negotiations in the Doha Development Round, analyzed the impact of agricultural bound tariff formulas, and provided key inputs on contentious debates such as the Special Safeguard Mechanismand the treatment of WTO sub-groups (such as the Small and Vulnerable Economies) and special categories of products. Our team has also advised developing countries on WTO accessionfor agricultural goods, including the design of the agricultural bound rate offer, the notification of subsidy regimesand the management of WTO accessions negotiations for sensitive products.

Our team has assisted developing country officials conducted bilateral, bi-regional and regional agricultural negotiations, including the design of national tariff offers to protect sensitive items and promote agricultural competitiveness. Our experts have extensive experience in integrating Aid-for-Tradeissues into agricultural negotiations, and have deep familiarity with bringing in a wide range of stakeholders (such as producer cooperatives, Agriculture Ministries and civil society) into complex trade debates. Our analyses use a wide range of economic modelingtechniques, ranging from simple data calculations to sophisticated partial and general equilibrium modeling. All of our analyses are backed by an in-depth knowledge in handling and interpreting trade statistics and intimate knowledge of the Harmonized System.

Our team

Agriculture and food security are a core competency of our team, and several members of our core team are specialists in key agricultural sub-sectors:

  • Hannes Schloemann, LLM, is a founding director of WTI Advisors whose key area of practice includes agriculture and related areas such as SPS, TBT, subsidies and the WTO negotiations on agriculture. He served for a number of years as the Team Leader and Expert on Agriculture advising the ACP Group in Geneva in the context of the Doha Development Round, and has advised a number of WTO accession countries on strategy and policy related to their agricultural offers and subsidy notifications.
  • Sacha Peter Silva, MSc, a senior economist at WTI Advisors, has prepared economic analyses on agriculture and food security issues for thirty-five countries, including the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific. He has prepared agricultural offers for thirty developing countries in the context of North-South trade negotiations. He prepared wide-ranging economic analyses of, inter alia, the policy implications of rising food imports in the Caribbean, the impact of the proposed SSM mechanism at the WTO, and the impact of preference erosion on Commonwealth Small States.
  • Hilton Zunckel, MILE, is a founding director and international trade practitioner with South Africa-based Trade Law Chambers. He has extensive experience in trade in agriculture, trade remedies, WTO accession and Southern African regional trade issues. He has, inter alia, acted as co-counsel to the African Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) and the West African cotton initiative (C4) in the WTO Doha agriculture negotiations.
  • Christian Pitschas, LLM, is a partner at MSBH Rechtsanwälte and a co-founder and former Director of WTI Advisors. Christian advises and represents clients on all matters relating to trade in goods and services, in particular in the areas of agriculture, SPS, TBT, NTBs, trade facilitation, subsidies, government procurement and dispute settlement, as well as EU law and public international law.
  • Christian Häberliworks as a researcher, lecturer and policy advisor on food security from a trade and investment angle, including in a human rights perspective. He was a trade negotiator for Switzerland in the GATT and the WTO during the Uruguay and the Doha Rounds (1986 to 2007). He also served as Chair of the WTO Committee on Agriculture (Regular Session) and panelist in fifteen dispute settlement cases dealing with agriculture, SPS, TBT, and services.
  • Lambert Botha, LLM, MILEis a director at Trade Law Chambers, South Africa and an admitted attorney with practice experience in the areas of public international law, intellectual property and international economic law. As trade practitioner his areas of practice include regional dispute settlement, agricultural trade, services trade, TRIPS, WTO dispute settlement; SPS, regional trade agreements and trade in energy goods and services.
  • Barış Karapınar PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow and a Co-leader of the World Trade Institute’s research program on Trade and Climate Change. He is currently working on multiple research projects in the fields of trade in agriculture, food security, climate change adaptation and sustainable management of natural resources. He has coordinated an international research project on the sustainability impact of Swiss agricultural and trade policies on developing countries, and has researched the interplay of food security, WTO law and environmental implications of export restrictions.