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The Farmers’ Organizations of Africa address the G8 Agricuture

The tens of millions of agricultural producers organized in the five regional networks of farmers’ organizations of Africa (EAFF, PROPAC, ROPPA, SACAU, UMAGRI) and united in the African Platform of Farmers’ Organizations are well aware that the world is undergoing crucial moments of its ecological, economic and social history.

A century of industrialization has promoted climate warming resulting in drought, desertification, floods, etc…The global financial crisis has severely reduced the purchasing power of men and women, It has engendered massive unemployment and aggravated food insecurity. About 3 billion people are affected chronically today. Among them, two billion suffer from nutritional deficiencies and one billion keep company with hunger in their daily life. A large proportion of these people live in Africa.

Structural adjustment policies, the Brettton Woods financial institutions and multinational corporations have not improved the way of life of rural people in Africa. What is more, the present system of liberalization and globalization accentuates poverty in our countries and creates food dependency.

Yet Africa can feed its populations given its strong agricultural potentialities. In fact, according to FAO only 27% of its arable land is cultivated, and of the 42.5 million hectares which could be brought under irrigation barely a third has been.

The African Union has targeted an agricultural growth rate of 6% in the agricultural component of NEPAD (CAADP).
Attaining this goal and reducing by half the number of persons who suffer poverty and hunger by 2015 would require exploiting Africa’s resources and placing family farming and small scale producers at the heart of agricultural policies, as the agencies of the United Nations system agencies and the international financial institutions seem to have recognized.

A “green revolution” for Africa cannot be achieved without assuring an effective guarantee for producers’ revenues, without considerable support measures, without protection of local markets and without consistent investments. It must not be pursued with GMOs and unbridled use of chemical products, to the detriment of Africa’s biodiversity and the environment.

Africa’s investment needs for agricultural development are far inferior to the millions of dollars it consecrates to importing food and making purchases on the residual stocks of other continents. They bear no comparison to the exorbitant amounts destined to arms or to the management of the current financial crisis. In 2006 the world spent $1200 billion on arms. The G20 countries are injecting $1000 billion to address the financial crisis in addition to the millions of dollars and Euros which the US and European governments have given to banks and industries.

Since 2001, we have witnessed a succession of G8 summits, each quite like the others. These forums may be spaces which open up from time to time to other countries and to non state actors, but they are above all moments in which the richest countries solemnly announce new commitments directed to themselves, to the world and to Africa. The April 2009 session on agriculture must depart from this rule in addressing world problems like the food crisis and food security.

Since the April 2009 G8 Summit is focused on issues of agricultural development and food security in its agenda, the African networks of farmers’ organizations have determined that it is their duty to contribute the analysis and the proposals of food producers regarding these matters.

See also:
Towards the G8 Agriculture: African Farmers take the floor


Related documents

2009 G8 Peasent Organizations Declaration- EN | Download - 184.3KB