Ndiougou Fall, President of ROPPA (Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa), offered the audience at the July 2008 Brussels Briefing a farmer’s organization perspective on the issue of ‘new actors, new players”.

As recognised by Mr. Riera, the “enormous difficulties” that developing countries are facing leave lots of rooms for new actors to bring in their contributions. However he sees these new opportunities also bringing new questions: What are the capacities of these new players? Do they have sufficient experience and knowledge to intervene effectively in agriculture and rural development? And what are the values that move them? Can they really bring about a change?

(video in Fench)

For Mr. Fall these are all important questions that need to be reflected upon and answered. But more important is to undertake a lucid and systemic analysis to reform the current development model that has been strongly affected by globalisation and liberalisation in most regions, and of which migrations and degradation of natural resources are but two irreversible consequences. Many institutions have played a role in maintaining this system. It is time for reform and in-depth re-examination of how it works.

If new actors are coming in, we first need to ask these questions, recognise that the system is not working, proceed with a systemic analysis, and find solutions. Will the new actors be able to assess the situation and act differently? Africa in particular is at the very center of this crisis, and if the systematic analysis will be inadequate, according to Mr. Fall there’s the concrete risk that we will repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

Against this backdrop, he presented what he thinks Africa and developing countries really need. In particular, he advocated for more incentives for production; regulation policies; regional integration; reinforcing of investments in infrastructure; and the implementation of a form of global governance with coordination and coherence at the regional and national level.

He concluded stating that aid is a discipline to support development policies at the national and regional level, and that responsibilities on aid should move from donors to beneficiaries; farmers’ organisations in particular should be able to play a bigger role in the aid picture.

See more from the 2 July Briefing

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