Monday, March 26, 2007

Advancing African Agriculture

The Development Directorate-General of the European Commission (EC) recently asked for comments from CONCORD on its paper entitled "Advancing African Agriculture". The European Commission will not be disappointed: CONCORD has produced a nine-page document. It welcomes some of the proposals in the Commission's draft paper (not yet published officially) and underlines some points of contention, on which it makes recommendations.

In short, CONCORD welcomes:
  • The high standard of the overall analysis of the problems facing African agriculture;
  • The recognition of the role that agriculture can play in poverty eradication and development;
  • The focus on Africa and the support of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme;
  • The recognition of differences between African countries, both at the regional level in Africa and also withincountries.

The main points of contention have to do with the Commission's Consultation Process, for which the deadline was very tight, and some areas – neglected in the "Advancing African Agriculture" paper – which require greater emphasis, in particular:
  • Role and rights of women in African agriculture;
  • Health;
  • Policy coherence;
  • Inclusion of rural stakeholders;
  • Type of farming being targeted.

DG Development has thanked CONCORD for the nine pages of comments and has assured that all points put forward and recommendations made will be carefully considered. CONCORD is now awaiting information on the next steps in the consultation process as envisaged by the European Commission.

For more information: Mireille Mi├Ęge (

Source: CONCORD Flash - February 2007.

See also and Euforic dossiers on Africa.