Politicians must do more to understand the complexities of agriculture before making decisions that affect farmers in poor countries, according to a recent international conference.
The call was made at the recent meeting “Hungry Farmers: the root causes” organised by VETAID, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Other recommendations included the European Union ensuring its trade rules do not harm smallscale producers in the developing world and for companies in member states that deal with poor producers to embrace more ethical business practices.
Delegates also examined the negative impact of free trade policies on agriculture in parts of Africa, and debated the effects of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on developing countries. The conference panel endorsed a “bottom-up” approach by farming organisations in Africa, with the “cooperative and marketing model” highlighted as a possible way forward.
Guest speakers included Diane Green, Campaigns Officer for Christian Aid in Scotland; Moses Shaha, General Secretary of Eastern & Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum and Norman Chipakupaka, Trade Justice Campaigner for Church of Scotland and former Zambian shadow Minister for Agriculture. Ken Rundle, Head of Communications at Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and formerly of BBC Scotland headed the debate.
For further details contact John Ferguson, VETAID Project Co-ordinator and visit the VETAID website.