Representing the European Food security group of Concord, Gerhard Schmalbruch brought the perspectives of European civil society organisations to the second Brussels Briefing on ‘Advancing African agriculture‘.
According to Mr. Schmalbruch, the “AAA” initiative is welcomed, presenting important elements in the analysis of African problems and the role of agriculture for poverty alleviation. Nevertheless, there are some specific elements which still need to be stressed and addressed with more emphasis.
First, there needs to be stronger support for small scale farming, which is an important part of the informal sector. Second, while the AAA focuses more on international markets, attention must be given to strengthen local and regional markets. Third, the role of women in agriculture needs to be better recognized to better link the ‘triple A’ initiative with other policies dealing with HIV/Aids and other killer disease.
On top of these, including rural stakeholders in debate, decision, and implementation of the different policies remains a key success factor. Thus, Mr. Schmalbruch advocated a more systematic and inclusive consultation process, where consultation must be also on the ‘content of the policy’, so that rural stakeholders can participate as the different programmes proceed.
Gerhard Schmalbruch elaborates on some of these elements and points to the need for coherence between agricultural and other, possibly conflicting, policies.
Summary of presentation (doc format)
See more from the 17 October briefing