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Monday, 28 September 2015

WTO’s challenge to Kenya & Africa

The World Trade Organisation is holding its 10th Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi in  December shall be a crucial moment to dicsuss key issues, not just for Kenya but all Africa countries. In relation to agriculture, Yah Tandon highlights some of the key issues: 1) Food sovereignty based on domestic production, and control over the basic means of production such as land, water, seeds and technology; 2) Agriculture as first and foremost a livelihood issue - trade liberalisation will put at risk the livelihood of millions, especially small-scale farmers; 3) smallholder farming as it is now cannot transform Africa - the colonially structured division of labour has located agriculture in Africa and industry in Europe. Africa needs to industrialise; 4.) Remove of serious inequities agriculture - African countries are not able to provide domestic support to their agriculture, whereas Europe and the United States provide these and have in turn destroyed the cotton sector in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali (called the C-4 in the WTO); 5.) Commodity prices and terms of trade have moved against Africa in a long-term secular trend over the last 30 years; 6) Indigenous knowledge and the threat of genetically modified organisms to local seed varieties is a matter of great concern to Africa; 7) Protection from dumping of subsidised agricultural products from Europe; 8. Market access to Africa’s agricultural commodities.

Source: the-star.co.ke