Under what conditions can globalisation benefit developing countries ?
Reactions from the floor and from participants in round table n°1 to presentations by M. PETIT et M. JANK on the topic "Under what conditions can globalisation benefit developing countries ?"
Round table participants :
- A.O. Diallo (Guinea) : 80% of all farmers are small farmers. PAOs (professional agricultural organisations) are organised as local chapters, on a regional basis. PAOs establish ties with counterpart organisations from the North who support them in their movement.
- E. Canon (J.A) : In the framework of globalisation, agricultural trade must be organised with producers, and protective mechanisms should be established at the regional level.
- M-A. Tall (Senegal) : The AAFEX organises African agricultural exports – mostly processed – on a continental scale. The current reform of the AFD (French development agency) seems to go against this movement which is after all the result of choices made by the actors concerned and which has been validated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Moreover, the food processing industry is a major outlet for agricultural products.
- Morocco : It should be our turn to experience GDP growth, just as it was the turn of Spain and Portugal recently. But how do we increase competitivity if we are running up against qualitative and quantitative barriers ? Political leaders only think of their office and of their reelection !
- A. Fiodendji (Benin) : PAO capacities need to be strengthened in order to improve the working conditions of rural populations.
- G. Renouard (AFDI) : What is needed is agricultural policy involving a whole range of instruments (such as has been instituted in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and elsewhere). NGOs that condemn the Common Agricultural Policy are making a mistake. Also, it is important to make sure that agricultural policy is backed up by good governance, by infrastructure, and by other policies.
- P.Mivimba (Democratic Republic of Congo) : This country with its potential to become rich has been impoverished by war and dictatorship. 80 % of its people are rural, living on small farms. There is a crying need for basic infrastructures.
From the floor :
- S. Sarr (Senegal) : For most experts the answer lies in increased productivity. But in Senegal we saw that while rice-growing productivity rose from 44 qtx/ha to 60 qtx/ha its price dropped from 125Fcfa to 80Fcfa. Meanwhile, the price of white rice to the consumer rose from180 to 225 Fcfa.
It’s not up to a handful of countries to fix world prices. The rules must be changed, and developing countries must have the right to protect themselves.
- N. Akesbi (Morocco) : European agriculture developed thanks to a generous and protective policy environment. Africa is being asked to enter into competition without any protection or subsidies. Special and Differential Treatment (STD) must be reinforced as a kind of "affirmative action" towards developing countries, and Europe must open its markets to exports from these countries.
- E. Canon : Protection must be available to all, but putting it into place requires real political will.
- Burkina-Faso : Globalisation hinders development. We are witnessing a form of recolonisation because the EU and emerging nations dictate the policy choices.
- M. EL Mehdi (Morocco) : Europe had no trouble finding the money to fund the African platform to fight against emigration. We must rely on South-South cooperation ; we should envision a partnership with FARM. As for farm subsidies, they need to be either abolished or applied to Africa also.
- M. Chabi (Benin) : We should rely on regional integration and SDT. FARM appears to be a new tool for cooperation which we should use.
Closing comments by the moderator of this round table,
- Ndiogou Fall (ROPPA) :
Countries in the South think that globalisation is not going to help them. Presentations by experts to the contrary are disputed by people on the ground.
Beyond the subsidy/protection debate, propositions call for :
- regional integration (with Europe as an example even though it is not disposed to help others)
- prices stabilised at remunerative levels by means of market regulation.
- more South/North and South/South partnerships.
Publié le : 13 juillet 2006