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General Meeting of More and Better

The situation in development aid for food, agriculture and rural development

The main message from the discussion was that a shift in the development aid is needed. Development aid has to be based on the needs of the local communities and countries, not the policies and conditions set by donors and international institutions like the world Bank, IMF and the WTO. The organisations of farmers, artisan fisherfolks, pastoralists and indigenous peoples have to play the most important role to define and steering development aid programs for agriculture, fisheries and rural development.

Most of the participants also underlined the need to increase the level of support for agriculture both from  governments in developing countries and in development aid, but some said that because of a lot of bad aid, less aid would be better now. What kind of aid is needed for the agriculture and the fishery? We have to find a strategy and decide what kind of aid we do want to support. There is a need for civil society to increase the capability to have access to the funds made available by international donors.

Many participants underlined that poverty and hunger are caused by the dominating economic model. There is a need for the Campaign to support political and social movements which are getting increased strength all over the world.

Plans for MaB

The three year plan 2005-2007 is the main plan for MaB also for 2007.

From the plan 2005 – 2007:

Principal Campaign Goals for the Period:

1. Increased levels of aid for food, agriculture, fishing and rural development in OECD countries and more resources for food, agriculture, fishing and rural development in developing countries. This applies especially to the countries were there are and Better campaigns.

2. Better quality of aid and government support for food, agriculture, fishing and rural development in developing. This applies especially to countries with More and Better campaigns and for organisations and institutions involved in the Moe and Better campaign.

Sub Goals for the Period:

a) Strengthen the capacity of farmers’ organisations and other organisations of poor people on the countryside in developing countries to influence policy related to food, agriculture, and rural development

b) Strengthen the influence of civil society, especially farmers’ organisations and other organisations of rural poor, women and indigenous peoples, on PRSPs, and get a strong focus on agriculture and rural development in the PRSPs.

c) Make documentation and evaluations, with a strong participation of local people (target groups), of good and bad aid on different levels (local, national, international) and provided by different donors (NGO’s, states and international institutions), and further develop guidelines for good aid on the basis of these documentations and studies.

d) Make the fight against hunger and the quality and quantity of aid more visible at major international conferences dealing with international and development issues.

e) Build strong national campaigns in 60 countries, and build the capacity of the organisations taking part in the campaign on issues and working methods essential for the campaign.

f) Strengthen and build out cooperation with other networks, organisations and campaigns working with issues related to the goals of More and Better.

g) Make More and Better well known by organisations, institutions and people working with development issues.”

More specific plans for 2007

The most important work of More and Better is the work on national level in each country by the organisations taking part in MaB.

MaB should now prioritize to push for a major shift in the development aid, a paradigm shift, based on the principles developed by MaB. A deep reform of the aid system is needed.

We have to strengthen and increase communication among us. Spreading and exchanging information on issues we are focusing on it is very important.

The work on international level is also important, but the campaign has very limited capacity to do what we want to do.

MaB is not only about agriculture, but also fisheries. It was underlined the need to focus more on fisheries than the campaign has done until now.

Issues for discussions and investigations in 2007 (and 2008):

Models of agriculture  and fisheries that should be promoted and not promoted by development aid.

What kind of aid is needed and how should programmes and projects be decided and managed.

The activities and role of multinational companies and private foundations in the development aid.

The policies and activities of the World Bank and the other international finance institutions linked to aid/ support for agriculture (especially linked to the World Bank development report in 2008 which will be focusing on agriculture).

Food aid and the policies and activities of WFP

International processes MaB should engage in:

Studies / reports

MaB should make some reports (if we get the funding for them). We should explore if it would be useful and possible to cooperate with other networks and/or institutions in this work.

Some international conferences and meetings of importance for MaB:

Communication within More and Better

The communication within MaB has to be strengthened.

Election of the international coordination committee

The international coordinating committee and the coordinator were reelected. The coordination committee has the mandate by consensus to adopt new members into the committee.

The members of the international coordination committee are representatives from:

Aksel Naerstad from the Norwegian Development Fund, is the coordinator of More and Better

Terra Nuova hosts the secretariat for More and Better.

The minutes from the meeting are available for all organisations taking part in More and Better.