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CropLife Africa Middle East Position and Recommendations on the Africa-EU Partnership related to agriculture

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Africa-EU partnership covering agriculture is an opportunity to build a partnership that delivers for both continents, taking into account the varying agronomy and technology needs of both continents due to varying climatic conditions and pest and disease pressures. Impact assessments should guide decision-making and enable the varying realities to be accounted for in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in each continent. Access to the necessary technologies plays a key role for livelihoods and improved food security in Africa. Their proper control and responsible use remain a joint public and private sector priority.

CropLife Africa Middle East (the crop protection industry in Africa) is ready to support the implementation of a localized green transition in Africa. This includes on-the-ground farmers training and capacity building, the transition towards a circular economy and national programs for responsible management of waste and tackling the circulation of illegal and or counterfeit inputs and products.
The Summit is taking place against a backdrop of farmers in Africa asking for improved market access to the EU and concerns from parties including Governments from many nations worldwide about the EU’s approach to market access and adherence to international agri-food trading standards.

INTRODUCTION

Agriculture is a key industry for Africa. However, it faces a range of evolving challenges. Technologies that support sustainable agricultural practices and development can help mitigate these. The average African farm currently performs at 40% of its full potential, with the continent being home to more than half of the world’s population facing food insecurity. This makes the use of agricultural innovations even more critical.

As Africa and the European Union renew their partnership and agree a new strategy at the February 2022 EU-Africa Summit, agriculture is expected to be discussed under the heading of a green transition. The EU is working to overcome the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation through its Green Deal. Food and agriculture have a specific Green Deal “Farm to Fork Strategy”, that aims to to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. The African Union has its agenda 2063, which is a strategic framework that sets its aspiration for “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”. The Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), one of the frameworks under Agenda 2063, aims to help African countries eliminate hunger and reduce poverty by raising economic growth through agriculture-led development as well as promoting increased national budget provision to the agriculture sector.

While both continents strive to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, how they achieve this is defined by their varying realities

Policies suited to the needs of one continent will not necessarily be suited to the other. Africa is more vulnerable to the impact of climate change and its farmers face pest and disease pressures that European farmers do not. Access to the necessary technologies plays a key role for livelihoods and improved food security on the continent. Their proper control and responsible use remain a joint public and private sector priority.

The Summit is taking place against a backdrop of farmers in Africa asking for improved market access to the EU and concerns from parties including Governments from many nations worldwide about the EU’s approach to market access and adherence to international agri-food trading standards.

CLAME POSITION

CropLife Africa Middle East (CLAME) is an industry association representing seven companies and 22 national associations. We recognise the importance of supporting farmers across the African continent, Europe and the rest of the world when it comes to the use of crop protection products. It is a fundamental concept that pesticides in use should be safe for people and the environment when used in accordance with the label instructions. All stakeholders in food production and supply have common priorities: ensuring adequate supply of safe food, protecting the environment and ensuring the wellbeing of people. CropLife member companies are fully committed to the ongoing research, development and introduction of innovative solutions to support the agricultural sector year after year, as challenges such as climate change, pests and disease impacts evolve. Member companies are producing technologies to empower farmers to grow more with less in support of sustainability in food and agriculture.

Crop protection products are quite rightly strictly regulated and, prior to being placed on the market, must pass thorough safety and environmental risk assessments. In line with the FAO/WHO International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management.

CLAME’s aim is to support the Africa EU partnership relating to agriculture in Africa by helping find adapted sustainable solutions. CLAME member companies are adopting and committing to measurable sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate the impact of climate change and ensure sustained food security and food affordability.

CropLife AME members are helping increase yields in Africa and are striving to support Africa’s sustainable development. For maize, a staple crop in Africa, farmers in the EU produce more than 4 times per hectare than farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through improved access to technologies and training on good agronomic practices, CLAME members are helping farmers produce more food more sustainably.

Ensuring that the partnership agreement delivers for both continents will require an evidence-based and science-led discussion and assessment of data from both continents. CLAME members stand ready to support partnerships in agriculture.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. In order to help enhance sustainable food output from farms, on-the-ground training and capacity building must be prioritised. CLAME member companies are adopting and committing to measurable sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate the impact of climate change, ensure food security and keep food affordable. These practices include training farmers in the secure and correct use and storage of pesticides as well as the implementation of integrated pest management strategies. It is also imperative that access to local language labels and protective equipment be strengthened.

2. A transition towards a circular economy and national programmes for responsible management of waste is crucial. CLAME stands ready to partner with national authorities. The plant science industry globally and in Africa Middle East, has developed stewardship initiatives to responsibly manage the full life cycle of products, such as the empty container management programme. This has included recycling empty containers thus helping cut emissions and support the transition towards a circular economy by keeping resources in the economy for longer.

3. Data-driven decision-making and outcome-based goals should be the foundation for progress in sustainable agriculture. The summit should ensure that the different needs and challenges on both continents are considered when determining the best way forward for enhanced agricultural sustainability.

4. Thorough, science-based evaluations and impact assessments should be conducted on all policies affected agri-food production and trade between the EU and African nations, taking into account all pillars of the sustainable development goals. This analysis must consider the critical role plant science tools play in helping farmers protect their crops and the environment, increase yields and produce a safe and abundant food supply. These inputs not only boost crop quantity and quality, but also prevent food loss and waste. As such, they are essential to ongoing food security. Social, economic, and territorial impact assessment would help in guiding the policy-making process.

5. An operation similar to the Operation Silver Axe supported by Europol should be introduced. Tackling the circulation of illegal and or counterfeit inputs and products must remain a priority for both continents. Illicit plant protection products may contain unassessed, unapproved, or poorly manufactured ingredients, with potential to endanger human health and biodiversity, plus the potential to destroy crops, compromising farmers’ livelihood. As a partner of the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, CropLife remains committed to working with authorities to stamp out counterfeit agrochemicals and pesticides.

6. CLAME members stand ready to support the implementation of a localised green transition in Africa.

Source :

  • https://croplifeafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/africa-eu-partnership-related-to-agriculture.pdf
Categories News

Container Management
Team Activities

CropLife Egypt Container Management Team ( CM) continues in their preparation for a pilot project to manage empty pesticide containers. The CM team comprising of Dr. Sherif Ayoub, Mahmoud Said, Inji Zaki, Hamza Ghallab and Manal Saleh of Blue Moon, paid a visit on 4 March to the El-Mahrousa Plast factory at “10th of Ramadan industrial zone” and learned about types of plastic used in pesticide containers and methods of recycling for each type. The team followed-up with a meeting with the Agricultural Pesticide Committee (APC) on 5 March and discussed the triple rinsing training/awareness to be included in all APC activities in addition to APC’s willingness to participate in the project through farm visits and collection schemes. The CM team and Blue Moon accompanied by an APC member continued with visits to mega farms on 10 March. This included a visit to Dina Farms to train their staff on triple rinsing and to discuss the possibility of collecting their empty containers after these had been triple rinsed.

Source :

  • https://croplifeafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Newsletter_March_2020.pdf
Categories News

Morocoo Train of trainers session on the responsible use of pesticides

The performance of Moroccan agriculture is the result, amongst other things, the know-how of growers and the use
of pesticides to protect crops from pests and diseases. The use of pesticides ensures abundant and quality agricultural production to provide important income to producers, while preserving the health of consumers and the environment. However, while plant protection products are necessary to all growers, they must be used safely and wisely by farmers, in order to guarantee and ensure their safety, the safety of the applicators, consumers, animals and preserve the environment which are the guarantee to sustainable agriculture.
The CropLife association, representing the plant science industry in Morocco, advocates ethical and responsible management of plant protection products throughout their life cycle, from the first phase of their design and manufacture, to the last phase of their use or disposal under conditions that meet the country’s standards and regulations. Unfortunately, in practice, plant protection products are not yet well applied and used according to the rules by some farmers who are not well informed about their safe use. Knowing the threats generated by the misuse of plant
protection products on the sustainability of the agricultural economy in particular and on the national economy in general, CropLife Morocco with the support of CropLife Africa Middle East is committed to partnering with the National Office of the Agricultural Council to conduct train of trainer sessions for agricultural advisors. Once this is done they can in turn train, advise Moroccan farmers and raise their awareness on good agricultural practices as well as on the responsible use of pesticides. All the training sessions were covered by the local agricultural radio station MedinaFM.

  • Explain to participants the challenges facing the Moroccan agricultural sector
  • Raise awareness about pesticide contribution to the sustainability of the agricultural economy facing climate changes
  • Inform participants about the risks to human health and the environment associated with the misuse of plant protection products
  • Reinforce good agricultural practices and the responsible use of crop protection products
  • Provide participants with tools enabling them to conduct extension meetings with small-scale farmers.

Outcome

At the end of the training sessions, participants were:

  • Mindful of the importance of plant protection products.
  • Better informed on the risks and impact of misuse
  • Inform participants about the risks to human health and the environment associated with the misuse of plant protection products
  • Suitably trained and able to conduct extension meetings with farmers on the Responsible Use of plant protection products.
  • Provide participants with tools enabling them to conduct extension meetings with small-scale farmers.

At the end of each session, participants received flyers, leaflets, booklets and posters on pesticide safe use

Source :

  • https://croplifeafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Newsletter_March_2020.pdf
Categories News

Capacity Enhancement for pesticide dealers and applicators in Cote d’Ivoire

CropLife Cote d’Ivoire organized its first training workshop for the year on IPM/RU for pesticide dealers, applicators and counsellors. The 78 participants were individuals seeking certification for the first time or renewal of their expired certificates from the Pesticide Committee chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Among the participants were three from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger who wanted to improve their knowledge in their handling of pesticides, as dealers in their respective countries. More than 10 sessions were covered during the four-day program in which 16 topics were discussed, ranging from basics on pesticides (definitions, formulations, terminology….), pesticide regulations, pesticide application, GAPs, pesticides and sustainable agriculture and economic development… A special focus was placed on the importance and correct use of PPE, empty container management and anticounterfeiting activities. These topics were referred to during the opening and closing ceremonies which were chaired by the Deputy Director of the Plant Protection Directorate (DPVCQ) as well as during the specific sessions devoted to these topics. The participants were frequently called on to give their expected contribution to any project or program related to the three issues. The workshop was supervised by the Bureau Norme et Audit (BNA) as CropLife Cote d’Ivoire is seeking certification of the training program. Such certification would provide an opportunity to engage in negotiations for conducting training for government, projects and development agencies involved in agricultural development. The closing ceremony was attended by the President of the Board of ANADER, the National Extension Service. This level of cooperation is in line with the commitment made between ANADER and CropLife CI to pursue and provide knowledge and support to the farming community through synergy raising as determined in their respective mission statements.

Source :

  • https://croplifeafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Newsletter_March_2020.pdf
Categories News

CropLife AME calls for functioning Agro Input Markets despite lockdown measures related to the COVID-19 Crisis

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will have an impact including the pesticide industry in the Africa and Middle East region. Various countries are faced with partial to total lockdown which is having an effect on the ease of doing business and on agricultural production as a whole. Although it is too early to measure the actual impact, discussions with the national associations in the region indicate growing disruptions in the agricultural sector which employs an average of 60% of the population. The challenges faced by Africa Middle East countries will impact global supplies in the future and is therefore something of global interest.

Together with health workers who are at the forefront of this crisis, farmers and the agricultural sector have a key role to play in this COVID-19 crisis management by assuring continued food supply especially for the local population. With often above 50% food imports and at times stock levels of a few weeks only, local production and its national distribution may become more important in the coming months. Regardless of the measures to enforce quarantine and social distancing, people will need reliable and regular food supply just like they will require medical supplies.

Pesticide imports and interstate movement of pesticides are critical factors for crop protection products to reach distributors and eventually farmers. The free flow of inputs is essential in countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia, countries which are soon going into peak planting and growing season.

The East Africa region has also seen an upsurge of locusts especially in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Disrupted distribution of the required products will be a major setback in locust control. Similarly, Fall Armyworm (FAW) control continues to be a challenge in the Southern Africa countries. Similar concerns exist in countries in West Central Africa where the planting season is approaching for cotton and staple foods. In addition, the main export crop cocoa will require the annual plant protection products to control pests and diseases in the coming months.

Farmers and Farm workers are in the frontline of providing the world with a stable food supply. Now they will be instrumental in keeping a health crisis from turning into a hunger crisis. While non-essential travel restrictions have been an important way to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19, we must ensure the uninterrupted and timely supply of crop protection products, seeds and fertilizers so farmers can continue to maximize yields and ensure high quality harvests. Any delay within the agricultural input supply chain could put food supplies within the region at risk.

Realising that this is a challenge for all to overcome, CropLife Africa Middle East member companies are working hard to continue providing the farming communities with the needed tools and inputs to maintain a stable food supply and will look to governments to continue to treat food production as an essential service in the response to COVID-19 and to ensure that food insecurity does not further increase this challenge.

 

As the regional association representing the plant science industry, we are committed to supporting the national association network with information and expertise on how different countries succeed to maintain a functioning agro-input market and sustainable agricultural production also under the challenging COVID-19 situation.

We appeal to governments in the region to consider agricultural inputs as essential goods so as to ensure farmer access to these inputs, under strict observation of health guidelines (social distancing) to ensure safety for all. Food security in the coming months can only be secured if farmers can access these inputs on time and in the right quantities.

Source :

  • https://croplifeafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/CropLife_AME_Food_Security_COVID_19.pdf