African Smallholder Farmers
Three quarters of all starving people worldwide live in rural areas, and the majority of them are small scale farmers. National and international agriculture- and trade policies marginalise their existence. The situation is especially bad in Africa, where a significant portion of the population lives in rural areas and starvation is on the rise.
The liberalisation of trade, as supported by the WTO, IMF and the World Bank is not contributing to the economic development of small scale farmers. These farmers often only have a small share in export and are the most affected by the import of cheap agricultural products.
A project called 'Spotlight on the Marginalised' aims to make European member states aware of the impact European trade agreements have on small scale farmers' lives. Both ENDS has managed to get these marginalised farmers' voices heard in the European Parliament and at the negotiating table.
Two negotiation processes that are currently running could possibly have a huge influence on trade in agricultural products between the EU and Africa. Their outcomes will be of great importance for small scale farmers.
Negotiations are currently taking place between the EU and six country groups from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). In addition, the WTO is currently negotiating agricultural policy, but there is no clear end in sight yet.
Despite the fact that these negotiation processes will have enormous implications for small scale farmers, their viewpoints are hardly considered. There is a strong movement against the EPA negotiations. Regional ACP networks, consisting of small scale farmers, are very busy creating platforms.
ROLE OF BOTH ENDS
Both ENDS aims to bring its forces together to help in a number of areas. For instance by organising studies on the impact of EPAs and the IMF's and World Banks' policies on small scale farmers. Fact Finding Missions (FFM) in Zambia, Ghana and Uganda should give a better picture of what the impact of these trade agreements is on local farmers.
Knowledge exchange will also take place at conferences and meetings in order to develop a mutual political strategy. Finally, Both ENDS will organise photo exhibitions and events to show the impact of trade politics on small scale farmers.
Aside from carrying out its tasks in the Netherlands, Both ENDS performs an important role in providing information about the WTO and EPA negotiations and activities in the EU.
This project received the financial assistance of the European Union.
BOTH ENDS CONTACTPERSONS
Within the project there were several investigative missions to Ghana, Uganda and Zambia organised by local organisations and the Food First Information Action Network (FIAN). Please download the reports below.
- Right to Food of Tomato and Poultry Farmers, report of an investigative mission to Ghana
- The Right to Food of Milk and Maize Farmers, report of an investigative mission to Uganda
- Right to Food of Milk and Honey Farmers, report of an investigative mission to Zambia