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Brussels Briefings n.60; Elizabeth Nsimadala: Farmers and food systems: What future for small-scale agriculture


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The Brussels Development Briefing n.60 on “The future of food and agricultural transformation” organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid, the ACP Secretariat and CONCORD was held on Wednesday 26 February 2020 (9h00-13h00) at the ACP Secretariat, Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels.
The briefing presented trends and discussed the sustainable and healthy food systems, the future of work in agriculture and the need for new skills in very complex food chains, the effects of disruptive innovations, fair and inclusive value chains and trade.
The audience was made up of ACP-EU policy-makers and representatives of the EU Member States, civil society groups, research networks and development practitioners, the private sector and international organisations based in Brussels as well as representatives from ACP regional organisations.

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Brussels Briefings n.60; Elizabeth Nsimadala: Farmers and food systems: What future for small-scale agriculture

  1. 1. Farmers and food systems what future for small scale agriculture? Brussels Briefing 60 - 26th february 2020 Elizabeth Nsimadala PAFO & EAFF President
  2. 2. PAFO A continental body that brings together Regional farmers Organizations in Africa MEMBERSHIP 5 RFOs, 80 NFOs, Over 80M SHF 49 Countries Vision A vibrant African agriculture , prosperous and sustainable ensuring food security and sovereignty, including the socio-economic development Mission Representing the interests of African farmers and promoting development of African agriculture
  3. 3. Food system Definition. • According to the University of Oxford, “The food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption” basically ‘farm-to-folk’ value chain. Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment and the impact of food on individual and population health.
  4. 4. Global Food system • The global food system can be described, in most basic terms, as the production, processing, and distribution of food throughout the world, and is meant to "feed the world" and "reduce hunger and malnutrition" through trade by creating higher levels of food availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability.
  5. 5. Problems of African food system What is not right?????
  6. 6. 1- Climate Change • The recent events in climate change by far pause the greatest risk to the African food system, we have ravaging droughts in the southern Africa and major insect (locust) infestation in East Africa that has spiraled out of control, in Kenya farmers have asked the government to declare this phenomenon a “national disaster” since it has been unable to control its spread. This incidence is after an outbreak of Fall Army Worms and floods. There is urgency in making available climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience funds and support for the continent to restore what looks like a major food crisis in the future for Africa
  7. 7. 2-Lack of sufficient support to Producers • The African farmer practices an array of production systems – from traditional to conventional and modern practices. We have family farmers from the modest to the largest and we have those in livestock and fisheries who are often marginalized. With the continent importing about 40 Billion USD worth of food per annum, it means the African farmer cannot currently feed her continent but has the potential to do so if significantly supported through integration into existing production systems, having requisite capacity to form appropriate organizations of farmers, having the right partnerships and support by governments. It is imperative to adequately support the African farmer to be able to feed the future generations.
  8. 8. 3-Agriculture Policies • It’s a well known fact, Africa is rich in policies…CAADP, National Agriculture policies, Regional and international trade policies, regional integration, climate change…etc. The problem is that these policies are most times either not well researched, consultations are not sufficient, awareness is not well done and ownership is diverse. The inconsistencies in policy result in poor resourcing and enforcement, we know that most international trade agreements are not in favor of Africa and our experts lack the capacity to argue otherwise. We have also politicized food in the continent making some of the major policies in- effective hence the reason we suffer food dumping, land grab and unfair competition with commodities produced elsewhere.
  9. 9. 4- Agriculture investments • It is said that the right policies are followed by the right investments. The policies supporting agro- ecological farming, family farming or conventional farming have very little to show in investments especially for the small holder producers. There are so many opportunities say in post harvest, infrastructure/ distribution, value addition, financial inclusion, climate smart agriculture among others. Investments Instruments developed for pro-poor populations have created little impact because most are not properly designed and the patience of the investment is not long enough
  10. 10. 5-Data and information • Bearing in mind the current challenges facing our agriculture state of play, there is need to create an information highway that is fed by current data and analysis. Africa in general lacks this capacity as effort around it is very fragmented, we will need to learn how to converge data and information for it to make sense and most importantly inform planning.
  11. 11. What are we doing as FOs • There’s evidence of supporting Fo’s in managing various food systems, Example, In West Africa – Senegal and Mali we have strong farmers associations supporting family farming which we recognize as one of the processes to deliver agenda 2030 through the UNDFF, cooperatives in Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia which are strong in aggregation and value addition, in North Africa Sudan and Morocco are good in producing from arid conditions, in Southern Africa they are good in precision farming.
  12. 12. Our experience on state of play • In Countries where we have weak FOs, the food import bills are very high, there is relative political instability , ecosystems have degenerated and the National debts are very high.
  13. 13. The Food system that Farmers want! • As Africans, we want a food system that restores the dignity of the African farmer, a system(s) that recognizes the diversity of production systems from resilient to sustainable. A system(s) that doesn’t not marginalize the livestock or fish-producer. We want a system that is seen to put the Farmer at the center of focus – as THE INVESTMENT – needed to "feed the world" and "reduce hunger and malnutrition" meaning the interventions will be done involving the farmer at all times.
  14. 14. Continuation • There is a lot of capacity to be harnessed in organization of producer organizations to make food available, accessible, utilized, and stably produced, the farmers of Africa have struggled to put together National, Regional and a PAFO to achieve this fete, we plead with you and everyone out there “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.
  15. 15. PAFO TRIBUTE TO CTA • Out of the 60 Brussels Briefing, Africa was present in 54 through our FO Leaders and entrepreneurs, the first briefing dedicated to African agriculture was held on 17th October 2007 on Advancing African Agriculture, 5 continental briefings were organized in Africa: September 2010 in Cameroon on access to land , In Burkina Faso on Climate change, 2014 in Kenya on promoting inclusive financing models for farmers in Africa , November 2015 in South Africa on Agribusiness and PPPs and October 2016 in Ghana on Youth and Agribusiness
  16. 16. Continuation • CTA strengthened our communication work, training on ICT4Ag and other web tools, supported consultations on climate change, the use of Drones , partnerships like the MUUIS project in Uganda, the E-extension project in Kenya, facilitating experience capitalization workshops involving exchanges, learning meetings , write shops and workshops to pacific region, India and other countries, Publications through Spore magazine was an opportunity to publicize material and information we had developed with CTA Support . There are many ICT start ups supported in ACP countries .
  17. 17. Finally • We can’t forget the strictness in reporting which we all used as a bench mark for reporting to other partners. • And finally, as PAFO we are able to assess the positive results of the partnership including the Brussels Briefings on farmers and FO’s in Africa, the knowledge management exchanges which need to be continuously supported. Having partnered with CTA in all these activities, we have acquired enough skills its our humble prayer that EU and ACP through joint partnership grant us such an opportunity to manage these activities on behalf of farmers globally but also leverage on the already existing partnership like FO4ACP
  18. 18. THANK YOU