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1.I am learning a report from VOA, it's about a meeting of WTO to cut export subsidies. There is a word I couldn't understand, even search through google.

"West African countries achieved a breakthrough in their demands that rich countries stop subsidizing their cotton farmers. Under the agreement, the United States and other nations have decided that cotton subsidies be treated on a separate fast track."

What does "a separate fast track" mean here?

2. Does "on the order of" mean purpose? As I know, "in order to do sth." means purpose.

In another article about new studies prove that regular walking can protect elderly from dementia.

EX.
Women who performed a moderate amount of activity, on the order of walking two to three hours at an easy pace every week, performed significantly better on these tests of cognition than women who walked less than one hour per week.
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Hi Tina,

(1) a 'fast track' is a streamlined or expedited way of accomplishing a process, task or goal. In this case, the US and other nations will try to deal with the problem of West African cotton subsidies before or quicker than they consider other related problems. 'Separate' means separately from these other considerations, and is not really necessary in this sentence. (It may mean, however, that there are other subsidy problems on other fast tracks, and that changes to W.A. cotton subsidies will be expedited separately.)

(2) 'On the order of'-- 'order' here means rank, level or sort, so the phrase essentially means 'like'. The study is suggesting moderate activity like easy walking and activities of a similar type.
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Hello Spellchekc

'In the order of' more usually means 'very roughly', e.g.

'There are something in the order of 30,000-40,000 threads on this website.'

In the original extract, I would have expected to find 'of the order of', meaning 'more or less exactly', e.g.

'Journey times would be of the order of five hours.'

I can't say I've ever seen 'on the order of', in this context.

MrP
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...isn't it 'in the order of'?
 MrPedantic's reply was promoted to an answer.
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