Oxfam in West Africa
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2 millions of voices to support African agriculture!

June 23rd, 2014 Posted in Agriculture, Campaigns, English, GROW Campaign, Let's tackle hunger

conf de presse malabo  (62 sur 81)From June 20 to 27, 2014, the African Union’s Heads of State and Government will meet, in Malabo, to discuss on agriculture and food security in Africa. This summit will be an opportunity to review the 2003 commitments for agriculture. Indeed, 10 years after the Maputo summit and the resolution of African Heads of State to allocate at least 10% of their national budget to agriculture, only 8 countries[1] have continuously met the Maputo target.

On the eve of this summit, through a petition, more than 2 millions of African citizens have called, on the African Union, to « invest in our farmers, our food and our futures ». West African artists have also joined their voices to celebrate farmers and have composed a hymn for the International Year of Family Farming . They also remind the Heads of State of their pledges to and the need to take action. According to Baaba Maal,” by making our agriculture more productive, we will be able to avoid severe food crises such as the one that hit the Sahel in 2012″.

In Africa, more than 223 millions of people suffer from hunger while producers claim they can feed the continent if the conditions are fulfilled. In countries such as Burkina Faso, 92% of the population are active in farming according to a recent survey carried out by ONE and agriculture contributes for 34% to GDP. A massive and qualitative investment in agriculture in Africa is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors and would lead, accordingly, to a sustainable change in the life of millions of Africans[2].

“For a successful agriculture, substantial investments are required using transparent budgeting processes. Governments which have not yet reached the 10% threshold must do it at their earliest convenience. All countries should identify the relevant mechanisms to mobilize domestic resources in favour of agriculture” says Mohamed Lamine Ndiaye, Panafrica Head of the Grow campaign.

Farmers’ organizations and civil society organizations at the regional and Panafrican level have issued 10 recommendations for a new policy commitment of the African Union’s Heads of State and government. These recommendations came out of a sound and multidisciplinary analysis of the challenges and potentialities of African agriculture. Heads of State must address them in Malabo and lead their implementation.

“The African Union has declared 2014 as the year of agriculture and food security, this is a strong message. In Malabo, we will have to move from rhetoric to action for us and the next generations” added the permanent secretary of the Bilital Maroobé Network.

Malabo 2014 must be the meeting point between engagement and action, in order to fulfil the conditions necessary for a sound African agriculture capable of feeding Africans. From the Malabo Summit, African civil society expects a new policy commitment of African States valuing family farming through quantitative and qualitative investments. And CSOs will remain mobilized and vigilant to make sure those commitments are fulfilled!

Press Contact

Awa Faly BA, Oxfam, Dakar, afba@oxfam.org.uk, Tel : +221 77 639 41 78 + 221 33 859 37 22

Fatim Kiné Diop, Dakar, fkdiop@oxfam.org.uk, Tel : +221 77 679 93 74

Notes to editors

The GROW campaign aims at allowing poor people to participate in the global management of land, water and the climate so as for them to grow and buy food sufficiently and in a sustainable way.  Women’s rights and gender equality are at the heart of the campaign. Members of the GROW campaign in West Africa are: Billital Marobe, Poscao, IPAR, RACAO, APESS, WILDAF and OXFAM.

GROW is in partnership with the World Rural Forum, as part of the International Year of Family Farming for which a hymn from the campaign is offered to the farmers of the world.

GROW and ONE has initiated the petition “invest in our farmers, our foods and our futures” in a joint campaign for a new commitment at Malabo.

[1] Namely Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, Senegal, Mali and Ghana in West Africa.

[2] According to FAO

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