Advancing African agriculture – audience reactions

Alongside the panel discussions, the second Brussels Briefing on ‘advancing African agriculture‘ generated a lively debate where participants exchanged views, challenged speakers and provided a broader perspective on what is needed to advance African agriculture.

We caught up with some participants, asking them to briefly react on the discussions of the day.

Several farmers were presented in the meeting, both as panelists and as participants. In general, they welcomed the EC initiative on advancing African agriculture, even though they stress different elements when it comes to implementation.

Ajay Vashee, South Africa:

Elizabeth Mpofu, Zimbabwe:

For some, the missing element is that the communication does not recognise that it is impossible to foster African agriculture without also looking at the broader picture, addressing links with related, potentially conflicting issues, such as the Common Agricultural policy, the EPA negotiations and the WTO discussions.

Buba Khan, ActionAid:

This coherence issue is also a critical point for European NGOs such as APRODEV (listen to the video).

Mamadou Cissokho, referring to an earlier intervention by Mariano Iossa of ActionAid, stressed that farmers should not just be given a seat, they also need to take action and get mobilised. For Mr. Cissokho, the EU shouldn’t continue to propose what it doesn’t do itself. Any dialogue should tell the truth on protection and subsidies. Turning to the World Development Report, he asked that the World Bank (listen to interview) would share some of the responsibilities for the dire situation it paints of African agriculture.

(video interview in French)

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