Saturday, November 15, 2008

Africa should be market for its commodities, observes NEPAD

Africa should be market for its commodities, observes NEPAD
Written by Florence Bupe
Saturday, November 15, 2008 4:43:42 AM

AFRICA should view itself as a big market for its own commodities, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) agriculture head Professor Richard Mkandawire has advised.

Prof Mkandawire observed that the projected increase in demand for staples over the next 10 years should make African countries seize the opportunity to export their produce within their regions, and the continent.

“There will be a huge demand for staples over the next 10 years, especially by the urban population, due to the continued trend of urbanisation,” he said.

Prof Mkandawire advised African countries to address barriers to the free flow of products as they were an impediment to development.

“If we close borders and impose barriers, we are hindering the free flow of commodities, thereby continuing the circle of poverty and hunger in Africa,” he said.

Prof Mkandawire said African countries should institute policies that would encourage the flow of commodities from surplus to deficit regions.

He observed that current export bans on selected commodities and market protectionism were negatively impacting on the fight against poverty.

Prof Mkandawire further called for the involvement of farmers in policy formulation, observing that peasant farmers were usually sidelined in decision-making processes.

“Policy makers need to realise that farmers are knowledgeable about the environment, and therefore, there is need to get them involved in research, they should not just be subjects of research and policies. This will help reduce poverty at grass root level,” said Prof Mkandawire.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home