Workshop #1 : How to feed the World?
Workshop #2 : How to ensure the coexistence of the different forms of agriculture
in the world?
Workshop #3 : Which are the new risks menacing world agriculture and the threats they generate
for the stability of our planet?
Workshop #4 : Agricultural market regulation:
How can the international community get organized
and which instruments to use?
Workshop #5 : A must for the future of mankind:
Establishing a new agriculture and food governance
Summary Report on Workshop #1
How to feed the World?
Feeding mankind presumes that farms throughout the world are sustainable operations. And whichever the continent, whatever the agricultural policies, farmers must be able to make a living from their production. Yet, that is not the case in many developed or developing countries.
How can we solve this equation in a balanced fashion between each region? What must we do, so that the principle of fair and lucrative prices to farmers is included in international negotiations?
Is the agricultural, scientific and technological divide waning? Which are the future-oriented experimentations in this field?
These are many crucial issues, which the various experts in attendance attempted to resolve.
The initial observation shared by all participants is that globalization is an ineluctable reality that must be managed to the best of one's abilities. Similarly, food has become a priority issue, as it represents the first requirement for mankind and for economic and social development.
Achieving sustainable agriculture first presumes that farmers are able to make a living from their work. This implies that production selling prices be adequately lucrative.
The basic idea is that in order to feed the world, we must produce, thus be able to guarantee the viability of farming and record financial profits to ensure ongoing investment. The latter leads to innovation, thus to yield improvement, by guaranteeing a more lasting performance of production operations (lower costs of inputs, genetic improvement, etc…)
The approach to be followed was then discussed. Pierre Pagesse, Chairman of The Limagrain Group and Chairman of momagri, stressed the absolute need to provide farmers with minimal visibility, otherwise they would not be able to make a living, develop production and invest to modernize, and therefore launch a virtuous circle of economic development.
To that end, we must, added Mr. Pagesse, supervise the intrinsic volatility of agricultural prices generated by endogenous factors (specific microstructures, forecasting errors by various players and financialization), which take precedence over exogenous factors (such as climate or health hazards).
The chief executive officer of the Brazilian multinational corporation Vale recognized that agriculture presents specificities impacting any automatic adjustment of supply and demand, thus presenting problems in price setting. In such context, regulating agricultural markets is justified and can take the form of contract agreements between the different links of the value chain.
Some participants emphasized the responsibility of governments in supporting their agricultural operations to ensure the necessary production and yield expansion generated by the increase of public needs. However, the Moroccan minister of agriculture indicated that, while supporting the technical development of agriculture is advisable, market intervention––and especially price intervention––could be problematic. Still, he stressed the need to give the necessary data to agricultural players to improve their decision-making process, particularly regarding crop rotations and sales.
The beginning of a consensus finally appeared regarding the fact that each nation must be fully accountable through agricultural policies designed and implemented by governments to ensure the effective regulation of the agricultural sector.
The conditions broadly accepted by participants in showing the agricultural potential of the African continent are as follows: increasing national intervention, encouraging investment (both public and private regarding seeds, inputs, irrigation, logistics, etc…), improving R&D capabilities and pragmatic uses of innovation, reorienting public development subsidies towards agriculture, and focusing such financial aid on small farms.
In addition, most participants agreed on the lack of antagonism between family farming––which is to be maintained while working to modernize its techniques and training––and agribusiness capabilities––which are likely to develop African agriculture beyond livelihood goals. The issue of the modernization of agriculture and supporting its restructuration was also cited as another significant condition to improve yields.
In this context and considering the high growth potential in these areas, two key ideas were raised:
• Farmers' concerns, especially in Africa, must not be subject to a mainly social approach, but be considered in an entrepreneurial fashion;
There was a common agreement that feeding the world in a sustainable way is undoubtedly possible, especially due to the potential of the African continent, whose yields are still limited. Eventually, African grain yields could increase by an average of one to three tons in dry farmland, and by four to more than five tons in irrigated zones.
• Africa presents a very strong development potential, partly because of its yield improvement and its farmland reserves––200 to 400 million additional hectares, according to Moussa Seck, President of the panAAC.
Producing more and better is thus possible, but to do so it is necessary to increase productivity, improve the effectiveness of available resources management, both in terms of quality and volume and through crop diversification, and lastly encourage the formation of structured fields able to control marketing channels.
To reach these objectives, research and development as well as the new technologies are crucial. In this regard, all African participants noted that the research effort conducted on the continent was inadequate (approximately 0.35 percent of GDP in average against over 1.5 to 2 percent in developed countries), and that applying it to production operations was a very slow process. The effective impact of research can thus be greatly improved.
Striving to reach self-sufficiency seems to be a major commitment, considering the growth of demand in developing and emerging countries. This increase in demand is a powerful vector for price spikes, and consequently, for greater dependence by net importers of food products. Research, innovation and the new technologies are considered as key factors in ensuring self-sufficiency. However, it is necessary to overcome the current deadlock and some tenacious prejudices, particularly in Africa. In that continent, we must:
• Encourage applied research and target it to immediate needs;
According to Daniel Chéron, Limagrain Chief Executive Officer, plant biotechnologies present a crucial solution to yield improvement. The carefully thought out adoption of biotechnologies in Brazil is a factor in the country's agricultural power. In addition, policy explanations by public authorities are one of the conditions for an unruffled approach of these issues, in the face of irrational fears that Science may arouse, even though it can generate some of the solutions.
• Support the training of research professionals in Africa and advance their social role;
• Raise the level of African agronomic research by strengthening cooperation between public and private institutions at the international level.
In addition, the development brought about by genetic engineering goes well beyond productivity improvement and will provide still unidentified answers to growing needs. The history of the past hundred years has shown the role of improved research in answering population growth: the twofold increase in grain production since 1970 is a perfect example.
Likewise, the participants shared the idea that international cooperation in the scientific community is specifically required, in particular in the field of plant biotechnologies. Sharing know-how and pooling genetic resources will indeed be key factors of innovation. It is therefore all the more essential to avoid privatizing life sciences through the filing of patents that preclude genetic advances. On this topic, several African speakers supported the need to develop African research on seeds and adopt clear and consistent quality control regulation.
To ensure the effective implementation of research findings, two additional factors were then presented:
- Farmers' training, which infers not only emphasizing their primary training but also their continuing education, in particular regarding new techniques and technologies;
Investing in infrastructures is also considered a key factor, especially regarding irrigation, logistics and communication.
- Farmers' organizations and the structuring the agribusiness value chain. In fact, an enhanced integration of the various fields would allow not only to better master downstream operations (marketing), but also guarantee reinvestment in innovation while attracting private financing more easily.
In conclusion, all speakers agreed that food must become a global priority, particularly on the African continent, where agricultural development is everyone's responsibility, due to the likely social and political consequences that a lack of rapid progress could mean on the stability of a large section of the planet.
Summary Report of Workshop #2
As an extension of the thinking process on the way to provide food for the global population, the workshop #2 focused on the issue of the coexistence of different forms of agriculture in the world.
How to ensure the coexistence of the different forms of agriculture
in the world?
The first idea developed by the Workshop is that the different forms of agriculture––farming as well as agribusiness––can and must coexist, since the problem to be resolved is that of Africa's food sovereignty.
On one hand, agribusiness permits the development of the African agricultural potential, in particular through significant technological and financial contribution, and on the other, small farmers are the keystone of agricultural and food production increases and a source of revenue for their families and the national economy.
Two aspects must be improved so that this coexistence is successful. First the necessity to use a transparent contractual structure between small farmers and agribusiness executives, and second, the need to strengthen farmers' bargaining power within such structure.
In any case, the Workshop #2 pointed out that, contrary to popular opinion, family farming can thrive if it benefits from a favorable environment. The case study of cotton in Mali is commendable, since Malian farmers are currently as competitive as Texas farmers. In Chad, Benin, Malawi and Senegal, some agricultural productions have been spectacularly built up to reach food self-sufficiency, thanks to pro-active policies targeting small farmers.
Conversely, the policies planned out in multinational international arenas did not allow African countries to achieve food self-sufficiency. In certain cases, multilateral policies resulted in lower public aid for agriculture. The "Dakar Agricole" must, in this particular case, bring about a change of paradigm regarding the development of agricultural policies.
Summary of Workshop #3
Due to their strategic nature, agriculture and food are indeed crucial issues for the world economic balance.
Which are the new risks menacing world agriculture and the threats they generate
for the stability of our planet?
Two figures suffice to justify the interest shown in agriculture and the need to guarantee its proper performance, as stated by Brahim El Moctar, the Mauritanian Minister of Rural Development, in his introductory remarks. On one hand, all experts agree to state that increasing agricultural production by 70 percent to feed the nine billion people expected to live on the planet in 2050 is a must; on the other, one billion people are already suffering from hunger worldwide. In this context, it is essential to identify the new risks threatening world agriculture, and give our very best to prevent them and ensure maximal agricultural and food production.
The excellent and informative discussions made possible the recognition of several new risks.
First, we can identify excessive and unfettered speculation, widely blamed for the 2008 price spike that provoked hunger riots worldwide. A broad consensus among the Workshop speakers arose to recognize that, while speculation in agricultural commodity futures markets was not necessarily the source of price volatility, it added to the trend and amplified it.
As mentioned by Henri Bourguinat, Emeritus Professor at Bordeaux IV University, this new risk is a particular ongoing concern, as we are now experiencing a genuine disparity in the degree of speculation. In 2004, 30,000 contracts were traded on the Chicago wheat futures market, against over 200,000 in 2008, that is to say a scale variation between $13 billion in 2003 and $317 billion in 2008. One can thus easily see that agricultural markets are weakening.
Let's not, however, heap opprobrium on financial markets and speculation, which both remain necessary since they supply market liquidity. Consequently, we must regulate financial markets in the framework of a new agricultural governance system, and not do away with them.
In addition, let's not think that it is the only risk threatening world agriculture. The contributors to the Workshop #3 were quite unanimous in recognizing that agricultural markets, and agriculture in general, are faced with many risks, physical or financial, as well as exogenous or endogenous. In fact, the particular character of agriculture is now its vulnerability. As a result, and according to Kamal El Kheshen, Vice President Operations in charge of Agriculture at the African Development Bank, the many risk factors influencing the agricultural sector are endangering agricultural production capabilities when agriculture is left in the sole hands of market mechanisms. The relevance of implementing regulatory policies under the aegis of a world governance structure enabling their coordination at the international level was therefore noted. Among the goals of such regulatory policies, we can mention:
• Stabilizing prices on agricultural markets,
The latter point is of the utmost importance and represents the third element of convergence in this Workshop #3. In many cases, particularly in African nations, markets are insufficiently structured, as noted by André Soumah, Chairman of Audit Control Expertise (ACE) and Director of the Finance Department of the Pan African Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Consortium (PanAAC). In Africa, 99.99 percent of farmers do not have access to futures markets and cannot get coverage against price drops. And even when prices are high, they cannot take advantage of the situation, since they do not have access to the pertinent information. Besides, in order to produce, one must know to whom one is selling. The many different types of players and intermediaries, the domination held by some large multinational corporations on the African market for agricultural commodity exportations and logistics, as well as the lack of infrastructures, all contribute to market opacity and inaccessibility.
• Increasing the effectiveness of social and food safety nets,
• Improving market access.
There, a regulatory system would make very good sense indeed, since it could identify players and manage trade according to precise and clearly established rules allowing the implementation of standards, improvement of production quality, transparency, reserves and alleviation of price risks. Some progresses are already within reach in African countries: Setting up insurance contracts can thus ease price risk, as it is done in Western countries. It is thus extremely important to develop the reliable statistics required by insurance mechanisms.
Let's be careful, however, not to settle the risk tied to price volatility exclusively by insurance, and the Western farmers and agricultural experts attending the Forum emphasized this point.
The fourth new risk identified by participants to the Workshop #3 covers farmland acquisitions. While they have always existed, they have been increasing for the past three or four years and are presenting two new unusual characters. On one hand, it involves the countries themselves, particularly nations that are net importers of food products and became aware of their food vulnerability following the 2008 crisis. On the other hand, it concerns large areas, since farmland has become a safe investment following the financial crisis. As proof of this situation, Bara Gueye, Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), indicates that only 25 percent of the acquired farmland is actually farmed. We currently estimate that such farmland acquisitions in Africa represent approximately 50 million hectares (or 125 million acres). A situation that raises five risks:
1) The risk of land ownership instability, all the more serious since farmland acquisitions are encouraged by shaky land laws and are directly affecting small farmers (not to mention that the risk is worsened because these investments are targeting first high potential farmland);
In some cases, investment involving farmland acquisitions may have positive contributions (potential technology transfers, means of support for a section of employed inhabitants, etc…). Governments must make sure that farmland acquisitions are not made to the detriment of strategic interests of the nations concerned and of local farmers.
2) The risk of local food insecurity, which is indexed on the amount of farmland concerned;
3) The risk of social insecurity, generated by frequent population migrations, which creates conflicts with residents in the welcoming areas;
4) The risk of environmental insecurity, since that type of farmland is very often used for single-crop farming, which speeds up its deterioration;
5) The risk of political insecurity, as was recently observed in Madagascar.
In that respect, Ukraine serves as a good example of the consequences of agricultural liberalization, and farmland acquisitions in particular. Since January 2010 and following up on the liberalization movement sparked by the fall of the USSR, the country's agriculture is faced with an increasing concentration of farmland brought about by agro-holdings that control 500,00 to one million hectares (1.235 to 2.47 million acres). In such environment, Michel Terestchenko, International Project Manager for Industrial and Agricultural Projects in Ukraine, warned participants on the consequences of the upcoming law regarding farmland privatization, which will provide investors with farmland access and reinforce the oligopolistic structure of the market.
What is the risk? Depriving 2.5 million people of their assets––farmland––and provoking a massive rural exodus toward cities, without necessarily giving them new employment.
This represents a fundamental issue raised in Workshop $3. Historically speaking, a country's demographic transition is marked by the exodus by a segment of the rural population to urban areas, where it supplies a cheap workforce for emerging industries. That was the case in Europe in the 19th century and in Asia during the second half of the 20th century. It is now Africa's turn to complete its demographic transition, going from a high to a lower birthrate and mortality. Cheikh-Oumar bA1, Executive Director of the Initiative Prospective Agricole and Rurale (IPAR), indicates that among the 17 million young people entering the workforce every year, 11 million of them are coming from rural areas. And they will be 25 million by 2025. This demographic increase will necessarily entail an exodus to cities, as it has been the case for countries experiencing demographic transitions; but contrary to the latter, the international economic situation––particularly in Africa––is not creating enough jobs to hire them. Jobless and faced with a baffling urban environment that breeds exclusion, these people will be a source of instability, says Xavier Emmanuelli, Founding President of the Samu Social International.
Sub-Saharan Africa, and consequently world balance, will thus face significant challenges. Demographic transitions in the past have followed three main courses:
• Economic diversification. It must be pursued, but bearing in mind the extensive population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, the solution is not to be found in diversification only;
To insure the stability of African nations, as well as global balance, it is therefore crucial to invest again in rural areas to curb mass departures.
• Emigration. Between 1850 and 1930, 60 million Europeans migrated to other countries throughout the world. Today, countries such as Mexico and Morocco are confronted to a ten percent emigration rate. Based on this rate, 86 million migrants would leave Sub-Saharan Africa. Which African or Western nation could welcome them?
• Agricultural and rural development, in order to absorb demographic growth, including rural population growth.
Summary of Workshop #4
Agricultural market regulation:
How can the international community get organized
and which instruments to use?
While all experts present pointed out the need to regulate agricultural markets, we still must have the available instruments to assess their current situation, characteristics and specificities. This is certainly the sole precondition to initiate pertinent policies by political decision-makers who are well aware of the reality of agricultural markets.
But what is the current state of affairs? Do international decision-makers have the adequate information and assessment instruments to understand, anticipate and decide, knowing that the international context has been severely altered these past few years due to the recent economic and food crises?
The experts attempted to resolve all these strategic and multifaceted issues, while faced with soaring food insecurity, growing financialization of agriculture and an environment of high price volatility. Several observations were introduced, along with numerous and very interesting proposals, as the next G20 Summit approaches.
In fact, all attending experts shared the opinion that agricultural markets are historically volatile and that the scope and frequency of price reversals did increase in the past few years.
For Joe Dewbre, Senior Economist at the OECD, agricultural price volatility is a structuring nature of agricultural markets that can be mostly explained by the occurrence of climate hazards. Aliou Diagne, Leader of the Agricultural Policy Program at the Africa Rice Center, also agreed with this view and indicated that the recent events in Russia and Pakistan, occurring in a context of high oil prices, greatly contributed to soaring agricultural commodity prices, especially regarding wheat and corn.
But while climate hazard certainly played a role in the recent agricultural price spike, new explanatory factors must be brought out, such as the growing financialization of agricultural markets and the bounded rationality of the various players, whether they are farmers or speculators on futures markets.
According to Bertrand Munier, Chief Economist at momagri, agricultural markets thus became intricate anticipatory markets in which various intermediaries are now playing a major role. Consequently, it is not so much climate hazards themselves that explain the recorded agricultural price volatility, but the way farmers, speculators and governments interpret and react to them. As an example, we can note the rapid price turnaround following President Medvedev's announcement to ban Russian wheat exports.
This being the case, are the assessment tools used by international decision-makers and institutions taking into account this new reality? Is the liberalization advocated by the World Trade Organization representing a price stabilization factor?
This does not seem to be the case for Bertrand Munier, who pointed out that almost all economic models used in the international arenas did not clearly include the exposure of agricultural markets to these new risks, or even the various players' inability to accurately anticipate price turnarounds.
It therefore stands out that the "classical" economic models concerning supply and demand of physical products, which may have presented a valid reason to explain the fundamentals of agriculture in the past, are now unable to account for recent fluctuations. And, by neglecting these strategic causes, they come to the conclusion that unfettered liberalization would stabilize markets. When such factors are considered, the conclusions are radically different.
The momagri model has precisely been designed to include these new and fundamental factors. It thus provides a pertinent and useful vision to better grasp the quasi-chaotic fluctuation of agricultural prices, to anticipate more accurately their probable variations and, most of all, provide decision-makers with indications regarding agricultural market regulation.
Regulating agricultural markets is indeed a required step to initiate a virtuous development circle, especially in poorer countries where agriculture carries a decisive economic and social weight.
For his part, Najib Akesbi, Professor at the Hassan II Institute of Agronomics and Veterinary Medicine, stated that the current modes of regulation by public authorities are "running out of steam" and must be reformed.
But what type of regulation must be implemented? And on which basis? Prices? Income?
First, we must put back regulatory policies in a transversal and global approach that allows to take care of what he calls the evil couple––food dependency and poverty. As long as the right to food––one of man's first rights––will not be guaranteed, sustainable economic development cannot be established.
It is thus vital to implement effective regulatory instruments in physical markets, especially through reserves or stocks. Moussa Faye, Representative of Action Aid in Senegal, reminded the audience that a seamless reserve system not only allows stabilizing agricultural prices in a given area, but also stimulates production for small farmers while supporting right to food government rules, as was the case in Mali.
Agricultural markets do not self-regulate and, since international institutions refuse this fact, the policies they conduct are ineffective and the planned stabilization instruments do not work.
As stated by Ndiogou Fall, President of Senegal's NGO Federation, it is hence critical that agricultural and trade policies not only be better organized, but also benefit from adequate regulation tools. In addition, the structures in charge of agriculture are currently inadequate, and the WTO, which focuses on trade issues, does not have the relevant tools to include the new reality of agricultural markets.
The Canadian model concerning supply management presents some interesting views on these various aspects. For Ghyslain Cloutier, Vice President of the Quebec Coop Fédérée, the system has allowed to stabilize prices at lucrative levels for farmers, while enabling to meet demand and ensure continuous quality supply.
Several concrete proposals for the future were then presented, primarily regarding the management and regulation of agricultural markets:
1. Increasing national production capabilities to cope with external crises and growing food needs;
2. Promoting reserves through an approach regularly revitalized by international consensus;
3. Benefiting from regulatory tools that reduce the transmission to other sectors of the consequences of crises through a rationale differentiating short term from long term spans;
4. Guaranteeing farmers with minimum and less volatile market prices;
5. Regulating agricultural futures markets, particularly OTC markets, where most financial operations are taking place;
6. Encouraging more transparency in agricultural markets to curb speculation, without necessarily eliminating it, since it provides the liquid assets necessary to adequate market performance;
7. Benefitting from tools to assess agricultural markets to clearly include their structural defects and the growing financialization they are experiencing;
8. Rethinking the current agricultural market governance system to encourage transversal regulation for agriculture and trade by taking in consideration the issues of development and food security.
Summary of Workshop #5
Governance systems are becoming progressively less adapted to the new economic and social environment. The mandates of international institutions are limited: international trade for the WTO, financial aid for the IMF, health regulations for the WHO, etc… Why then, is the current high level requirement for a global agricultural and food governance system not instigated, so that political leaders can efficiently and promptly resolve agricultural and food crises?
A must for the future of mankind:
Establishing a new agriculture and food governance
Ever since the demonstration by the first Dakar Agricole Forum of the existence of a global agricultural divide, strong arguments were raised in favor of such a governance system. Confronted with the convergence of many challenges to agriculture (population increase, climate change, fight against poverty and economic development among others), even G20 nations seem to be rallying behind the idea.
While a political consensus is forming, all must agree that a debate on the "how to" and "procedures" must take place. That was the object of the workshop.
Listed below are the key consensus points we noted:
- First consensus point: food security. Everybody agrees that food security has become a strategic issue for all nations throughout the world.
Based on these consensus points, the following proposals were made:
- Second consensus point: the international cooperation system established in the aftermath of WWII no longer permits to efficiently meet the current challenges. In fact, the limited mandates given to international institutions do not allow them to fully play their role.
- Third consensus point: At best, global markets of basic agricultural products account for ten percent of production, and consequently consumption. Yet this market, which is volatile by nature, has become extremely speculative.
- Fourth consensus point: Agricultural price volatility, which is structurally caused by farmers' expectations and natural hazards, is now intensified by speculation, resulting for instance in the fact that agricultural production is sold an average of 15 times on agricultural exchanges. Other factors have heightened the imbalance between supply and demand, such as biofuel development and growing momentum of emerging countries.
- Fifth consensus point: The situation calls for the improvement of the global governance system, mainly to protect farmers in poorer countries, who are bearing the brunt of price volatility.
- Sixth consensus point: It is urgent to initiate and implement a multi-level governance system––at the international, regional, national and local levels––in a coherent and homogenous structure.
- Seventh consensus point: It was also pointed out that there is not a single international market as such, but instead regional markets that require a specific approach to include the various levels of competitiveness among all the world agricultural activities.
- Eighth consensus point: Hence, trade liberalization that would not reckon with this situation could have dangerous consequences for developing countries because of their various competitiveness levels. Yet, a steady decline in investment during the past 30 years has widened competitiveness gaps, and unfettered and unregulated liberalization is increasingly becoming risky.
- Ninth consensus point: In order to make farming in developing countries more competitive, we must provide access to financing, quality inputs and set up appropriate logistics capabilities (warehousing, transportation and port facilities). This is an act of global solidarity.
- Tenth consensus point: The various policies implemented for years regarding subsidies, price management and production or export quotas are doomed to failure if they are not part of an international cooperation system.
- Eleventh consensus point: Farmers' income tends to dry up throughout the world, and it is essential to outline some international cooperation that takes this decline into account.
- First proposal: We lack a global governance system to globally coordinate national production and export policies as well as activities of international institutions, so that farmers are provided with better visibility and a stable framework.
- Second proposal: This framework could be a World Organization for Agriculture and Food, whose objective would be monitoring, forecasting, coordinating and reacting in case of a crisis. This would assist farmers in confronting climate and market risks.
- Third proposal: The key role of that organization would include:
- Outlining the maximal level of global and regional reserves to fight excessive speculation, and thus stabilize prices;
In this respect, we must commend the initiative recently taken by the G8/G20 nations, but we are also emphasizing the urgent need to implement a permanent structure for international cooperation, which could be the above-mentioned World Organization for Agriculture and Food.
- Developing information, impact analysis and decision-making tools to ease international negotiations;
- Preparing intervention measures in cases of agricultural and food crises, to implement joint international action to resolve them.
- Fourth proposal: Establishing an international financing fund to manage reserves under the authority of this world organization.
- Fifth proposal: This world organization would play a specific role to fight poverty by reaching a consensus to set up the level of protection for farmers in developing countries. It would thus be possible to initiate and protect investments required to increase production.
- Sixth proposal: This world organization would set up indicative levels of fair prices by key basic products and price fluctuation tunnels in a suitable range without public intervention. Outside of this tunnel, intervention measures could be implemented by consensus to best curb price volatility and ensure market regulation.
These various proposals should assist farming development in poorer countries and safeguard the free-trade practices needed for global economic growth. In Africa, such international governance system must first be based on a local and regional governance system, which is currently inadequate. In conclusion, all participants agreed on the fact that maintaining the status quo can be fatal for the most fragile agricultural activities. Let's hope that the call from Dakar will enable farmers to be heard.
1 Data taken from the RuralStruc Program.