EU Cooperation for Agricultural Development in Africa is Vital to Millions of People: Insights from the Launch of the Montpellier Panel Report.

In SSA the average annual growth in agriculture has been over 3% for the period 2000-2008. Despite this momentum, hunger and poverty are still a great problem, with more than 200 million Africans chronically malnourished. The need for international cooperation is thus clear. Europe can play a key role here, being responsible for over 60% of the world’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).

“Africa is ready, the objective is now to call European investment in our region”, said Africa’s representative, Dr. Sibanda, from the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).

This requires reversing the downwards trends in agricultural aid and investment, going beyond food aid and overcoming the barriers for Africa’s agricultural development such as food price volatility. But for an African Green Revolution to happen small farmers need to be at the core of agricultural development, panellists argued.

The report foresees a positive scenario given current regional as well as global efforts. Notwithstanding, key issues such as land tenure, small farmers’ rights, climate change and the politics of this process s remain unresolved. Africa and the global community need to seriously address these challenges if real improvements in the lives of African people are to be achieved.

By Rocio Hiraldo