The paper aims at overview of the history and major contents of the Agreement on Agriculture of the World Trade Organization. Special attention is paid to implications of the Agreement for agricultural and trade policies in developing countries, including Russia, recently accessed the WTO. The differential treatment that developing countries receive under the agreement is investigated. The paper includes an overview of the recently adopted State Program of the Russian Federation for Development of Agriculture and Regulation of Agricultural Commodities Markets in 2013-2020. The research considers four applications of the given State Program: compliance with WTO requirements, state support of agriculture, provision of food security, and ensurance of sustainable rural development. The paper results in the conclusion that state policies in the sphere of rural development have to evolve beyond the traditional, sector-based model, with its almost exclusive focus on agriculture. Contemporary set of tools to ensure sustainable rural development should be based on the multi-sectoral strategies and programs that identify and better exploit the development potential of rural area through a variety of factors: national food security, agricultural production, liberalization of trade and foreign economic activities, support of local producers and rural households, rural infrastructure, environmental and recreational potential.
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