farmer with produce11. A brief overview on the Doha Development Round and what impact it would have on the COMESA / BABA initiative in Africa

Negotiations in July 2008 broke down after failing to reach a compromise on agriculture import rules, agriculture has become a linchpin of the Agenda for both developing and developed countries. Subsidies in the developed countries are ruining the developing countries producers, and a radical reform is needed especially in Africa, where BABA will have an extreme impact.

Small scale farmers need help to compete with multinational agri-business i.e. forming co-operatives, Government assistance and such like. Most developing countries struggling with food security have intensified their drive towards self-sufficiency. This is apparent with the COMESA member states and is a going concern in times of various global crisis.

A plea from President Luiz Inacio Lula, President of Brazil, in March 09 urged President Obama to conclude the Doha Development Round because it would be a huge help for poorer developing countries at this moment of global food crisis, especially those that have economies based on agriculture.

All this would be very relevant to a COMESA / BABA partnership. A radical change is needed and needed immediately, investment is required, Governments and private Sectors need to be involved. BABA will be a start to empower the Africans to galvanise and take account of their food security and protection of their rural communities. They have to first and foremost, secure their basic needs of food for local consumption, health care, education and infrastructure etc..

Worldwide, hundreds of millions of rural people, more than an entire population of Africa are fighting a decline in food resources with about 80% also dependent on farm livelihoods a number of people in the developing world classified as hungry is rising steadily. Aid from donor countries cannot cope, the solution is "Trade not Aid" that is if they are allowed to compete in the international arena. Aid should only be acceptable for emergencies such as large scale disasters natural, or manmade.

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