Categories Positions

CropLife Africa Middle East Position Paper on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)

CropLife AME (CL AME) calls on the EU to base its MRLs setting system on evidence and science, which has proven to be very effective in ensuring consumers’ safety. MRLs setting should
be done according to the EU “Better Regulation” principle, which ensures evidence-based and transparent EU law-making based on the views of those who may be affected. More precisely:

  • CL AME calls for the sustainability agenda to be tailored to national specificities. CL AME advocates for an Africa localized green transition while always maintaining a safe and secure supply of foods, which should be non-negotiable. Every country is best placed to assess the environmental impact of pesticide use that they choose to authorize for their farmers, based on their unique sustainability objectives and challenges, requiring the use of diverse methods, tools and technologies to sustainably meet the world’s growing demand for food and feed in the face of climate change. CL AME believes that a safe and secure supply of food can be ensured with the help of plant science tools including crop protection products that are recognized for their longterm and essential role in sustainable agriculture, food safety and food security.
  • CL AME supports MRLs based on Codex MRLs, or Import Tolerances, established via independent scientific risk-assessment, and encourages all governments to adopt Codex MRLs for global alignment and trade purposes. These should be science-based food safety standards that protect consumers’ health and fair-trade practices.
  • CL AME calls for ‘mirror clauses’ to be compatible with WTO rules and based on solid internationally recognized science.
  • CL AME calls for adequate transition periods when decreasing MRLs. Any policy or change of national standards should be communicated with sufficient notice with information on transitional measures, for example via public websites. Transparency and predictability are of the utmost importance for the whole food industry, in exporting as well as importing countries.
  • CL AME calls for MRLs setting system that focuses on ensuring consumers’ safety, as the environmental safety of pesticides is thoroughly assessed during the authorization processes; therefore, there is no necessity to expand the scope of existing MRLs regulations beyond consumer protection to environmental considerations. In addition, we strongly believe that global challenges, such as environmental concerns, should be addressed at an international level, through fora that have been set up to facilitate multilateral discussions and decision-making, such as at Codex Alimentarius.

The trend of decreasing maximum residue levels is a major threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Africa Middle East region. CL AME believes that getting
the sustainable growth agenda right in agriculture is essential and therefore welcomes the ambitions of improved and more effective MRLs.

Using MRLs, however, as a tool to unilaterally drive environmental sustainability is not something we support. We believe that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to sustainability, and the means should therefore be tailored to a country’s agricultural specificities and trade needs. Therefore, considering the increasing tendency of the European Union (EU) to decrease MRLs and import tolerances, CL AME would like to recall the following:

  • While there is a need for a sustainability agenda to be rolled out in all countries, each transition must be tailored to a country’s agricultural and trading specificities; that is why CL AME supports an Africa localized green transition in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As CL AME, we promote sustainable agricultural practices and food systems, utilizing the best mix of tools and techniques to achieve more sustainable production as well as to meet countries' individual needs based on their geographic location, agronomic conditions, and environment.
  • MRLs should be science and evidence-based in order to ensure that food products are safe for consumers, as per the ‘Better Regulation’ principle. Data shows that when the decision-making process follows a science-based risk assessment, consumer foods are safe. The setting of MRLs should therefore remain independent from political agendas.
  • In addition to ensuring consumers’ safety, MRLs should be science-based for predictability and smooth trading practices. Lowering MRLs without adequate transition periods based on political agendas, can lead to administrative burden, trade disruption and a loss of confidence between trading partners.

1- The Africa localized green transition: the need for sustainability agendas that should take into consideration countries’ agricultural and trade specificities

The challenges that agriculture faces in Africa range from climate change, food security, water scarcity, inflation of fuel prices, trading and export uncertainties and restrictions (and many
more). These challenges are currently only being exacerbated by the impact, and likely future impact, of EU regulations.

By adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach for sustainability the EU is not considering the climatic and agronomic conditions of the Africa Middle East region and the impacts that their changes will have. There exist many examples where it is necessary to use certain types of plant protection products (and in various quantities) to combat local pests and needs. The blanket approach discriminates against agricultural exports of products from many African and Middle Eastern countries.

2- Science-based MRLs ensure a safe, consistent, and vital supply of food as part of healthy and balanced diets

A maximum residue level is the highest level of a pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in, or on, food or feed when pesticides are applied correctly (cf. Good Agricultural Practice). With
MRLs based on robust scientific assessment, authorities ensure that the amounts of residues found in foods are safe for consumers and are as low as possible. For example, according to
the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) monitoring report on residues that is published every year, about half of all samples in the EU are free of detectable residue traces. In the remaining half (45%), residues found were within the legal limits (maximum residue levels or MRLs)1 ; such data shows that pesticides are applied according to Good Agricultural Practice and therefore that foods are safe because they are always below, or within, the MRLs set by EFSA.

Considering this lack of science-based evidence showing that such limits are not safe, it is unclear why there is a need to further decrease MRLs. More worryingly this is done with little
regard for how farmers should protect their crops going forward. It takes considerable time, work, research and resources to place new products on the market. Additionally, as farmers are the first line of defense in minimizing residues through good agricultural practices, the industry is taking responsibility by implementing and rolling out programs to train farmers in how to safely use pesticides. When used properly, pesticides are safe, and ensure that consumers have access to a safe supply of foods which are part of a healthy and balanced diet.

3- MRLs are key to many African country’s economic growth objectives and to the achievement of their Sustainable Development Goals targets

In addition to ensuring consumer safety, MRLs are in essence trading standards and the cornerstone of agricultural trade, as crops cannot be legally traded if they exceed MRLs. The
lack of globally harmonized MRLs is already a challenge for farmers, as they must comply with MRLs in both exporting and importing countries. It is key that MRLs are based on evidence and science and remain independent from political agendas.

CL AME is particularly concerned by the trend of ever-decreasing MRLs in the EU as part of the EU Green Deal. This is notably due to the possible deletion of existing MRLs for nonapproved active substances in the EU (so called ‘mirror clauses’) as well as the possible setting of MRLs with new data points such as environmental factors, especially when the latter is based on the use of the precautionary principle and not science or evidence-based2 .

CL AME notes that the environmental safety of pesticides is thoroughly assessed during the authorization processes; therefore, there is no necessity to do so in the setting of MRLs. Such
practices by the EU raise serious questions about the consistency of their measures. EU regulations are already more trade restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective, as being based in essence on the precautionary principle. They also fail to consider Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for legal uses in non-EU countries. The continued decrease of MRLs will cause further trade disruptions (contrary to WTO principles), a deterioration of relations with trading partners and additional administrative burden.

Finally, the decreasing trend of MRLs not only affects the agri-food exports to the EU, it also has a detrimental effect on the agricultural production of African and Middle East countries,
and consequently their food security and the region’s stability. CropLife Africa Middle East A.I.S.B.L is a non-for-profit industry association representing the leading global manufacturers of pesticides, seeds and biotechnology products in its territory. The regional association was registered in Brussels in November 2002 and represents today more than 20 national associations across its region. The association is legally fully y independent but maintains a strong link with the global CropLife network (www.croplife.org).

Source :

  • 1 https://croplife.org/case-study/maintaining-high-standards-on-pesticide-residues/
  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s Q&A on its neonicotinoid review findings of 2018 in which « The information on this phenomenon is somewhat limited, but EFSA concluded that, in some cases, bees might still be exposed to harmful level of neonicotinoids pesticides through this route », show an excessive use of the precautionary principle, non-science based - https://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/news/180228-QANeonics.pdf
Categories Positions

CropLife Africa Middle East position on the EU Green Deal

Key points

  1. CropLife Africa Middle East believes that the African Green Transition agenda needs to be uniquely tailored to, and supportive of, African needs. In agriculture, this requires greater access to high-quality sustainable organic and synthetic inputs and innovation. Technology transfers resulting in more innovation are a key driver of Africa’s Green Transition.
  2. CropLife Africa Middle East believes that major trading partner green programmes, notably the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategies, should not undermine African countries’ actions and ambitions for inclusive and sustainable growth. There are generational opportunities to support a transition in agriculture across Africa that should not be lost.
  3. CropLife Africa Middle East believes that the EU’s Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy can support Africa’s Green Transition in several ways, by:
    • Ensuring timely communication of new requirements;
    • Giving African farmers adequate and realistic transition periods;
    • Ensuring that EU Mirror clauses are WTO-compatible and science-based;
    • Ensuring that EU MRL and IT rules are science-based and changes communicated early;
    • Making sure that proposals impacting Africa are based on impact assessments conducted in/for Africa;
    • Consulting African partners more closely and regularly.

Green transition in Africa

All 54 African countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the African Union’s development goals in its Agenda 2063, in 2013. In the last decade much effort has been invested in working towards building green economies across Africa.

Given many African countries reliance on agriculture for both trade and food/feed, this agenda goes far beyond just farmers and the environment. The Green Transition in Africa represents both challenges and opportunities across several areas: economic growth and social progress; sustainable and inclusive development; gender equality and youth empowerment; technology transfer; increased trade and unity within Africa and development and investment opportunities.

African Green Transition

African Green Transition is a “green growth model, including circular and blue economies; combatting climate change; protecting biodiversity and natural resources; ensuring food security and rural development as well as access to sustainable energy and developing transport solutions.” [EEAS Nov. 2021]l

African countries contribute 3% of global carbon emissions. They face the most severe impacts of global climate change. Natural disasters like locust infestations, droughts and floods have displaced millions of people and massively disrupted socio-economic structures.

Access to innovations and technologies that can help improve resilience to the impact of climate change as well as helping reduce carbon emissions are needed. Removing barriers to trade in agriculture within Africa can also reduce emission by making it easier for global companies to produce and supply for Africa from within Africa.

The green transition can help fuel sustainable and inclusive growth for Africa. Africa has a large social and economic footprint in the continent and as such, can empower not only farmers, and the value chains that they belong to across Africa, but also the continent as a whole.

Technology can help African farmers deliver more with less and embed sustainable business development that in turn can drive more intra-regional agricultural trade (and decrease dependence on imports and simultaneously reduce CO2 emissions). Unfortunately, these opportunities will be missed if the African Green Transition continues to largely be driven by policies formulated in a different continent based on different realities, most notably by the European Union’s Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy.

Eu green deal & the african green transition

African Green Transition

“The MRL issue is the trade policy measure of most immediate relevance and significance for developing countries” [Professor Alan Matthews, Euractiv Interview, 25 February 2022]

The EU and African countries are developing policy measures to combat the effects of climate change. The EU’s vehicle to achieve this is the European Green Deal. Central to this effort
is the ‘Farm to Fork Strategy,’ published in 2020. It aims to reduce the environmental and carbon footprint resulting from food production and consumption. Key measures cover food production, processing, retailing, and waste. The external dimensions of these proposed changes are will shape the African Green Transition in significant ways. The evolving EU policy framework will require African countries to adhere to many new rules stemming from the Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategies.

The socio-economic and environmental impact of policies tailored to European realities is not likely to match reality in other parts of the world where the socio-economic, environmental and agronomic context including soils, climatic conditions and pest pressures are different. Compliance with these new rules, if they do not take African needs into considerations, could become a burden on African businesses and notably African farmers who want to continue accessing the vital EU market.

Many African leaders have expressed concerns that the enactment of the European Green Deal will damage, instead of support, Africa’s Green Transition process. There is a building body of research and data on the impacts that the EU Green Deal could have on Africa – but more is urgently needed.

In the same process technology needs to be viewed as an enabler to achieving a green transition while also considering that the technology needs of different continents are different due to varying agronomic and climatic conditions. Pests like Fall Armyworm, which don’t exist in Europe, may require technologies that Europeans choose not to authorise for use in their domestic market except in exceptional cases.The evolving EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork policies offer opportunities, and challenges, to the African Green Transition.

African Green Transition

Compliance with EU Farm to Fork policies represent a huge potential to damage Africa’s Green Transition process.

Four focus areas

1. Uncertainty & compliance costs

Concern: Major policy upheaval, such as those resulting from the EU Farm to Fork Strategy inevitably generate uncertainly, especially in sectors as complex as agri-food chains. Understanding the exact requirements and the associated costs takes time and put business at risk.

Solution: CropLife Africa Middle East asks for additional investments and special emphasis on communicating, in a timely manner, any new requirements as soon they are known. Moreover, African farmers must benefit from adequate and realistic transition periods (at least 24 months).

2. Mirror clauses

Concern: The use of mirror clauses is hotly debated in the EU. Mirror clauses describe when an imported product is produced under the same sanitary, phytosanitary, welfare and environmental standards as products produced within the EU.

Solution: CropLife Africa Middle East calls for mirror clauses to be compatible with WTO rules and based on solid internationally recognised science.

3. Maximum residue limits (mrls) & import tolerances (its)

Concern: Changes to EU MRL and IT policies may negatively impact the African Green Transition. There is grave concern for the potential revocation of import tolerances for any active ingredient not registered in the EU. There is also concern that potential future MRL’s be set with new data points such as environmental factors.

Solution: CropLife Africa Middle East asks that MRL and IT policies be science-based and communicated as early as possible.

4. Support for the african green transition

Concern: African farmers not only require adequate transition periods, but also significant technical and financial assistance to adapt their farming practices. These needs must be supported by stronger advocacy and engagement by African governments.

Solution: CropLife Africa Middle East calls on African governments to do more research on their specific situations and to subsequently build this into advocacy towards trade partners. CropLife Africa Middle East is ready to play its part as a key partner in this process.

Croplife Africa Middle East

CropLife Africa Middle East A.I.S.B.L. is a non-for-profit industry organization representing the leading global manufacturers of pesticides, seeds and biotechnology products in Africa and the Middle East. Together with more than 20 national associations, CropLife Africa Middle East is the voice and advocate for the plant science industry in its region and worldwide.

CropLife Africa Middle East is committed to sustainable agricultural practices and to the responsible use of plant science technologies in the region. We promote the understanding of the benefits of modern plant science solutions. We are convinced that these products and solutions, developed and distributed by our member companies, are indispensable to control weeds.

We believe that the professional and responsible use of these products improve the incomes and livelihoods of farmers and their families and has the potential to contribute decisively to the growth of rural and national economies, as well as promoting food security in the region.

Categories Positions

African green transition in agriculture

Key points

  1. CropLife Africa Middle East supports an African Green Transition that is a vital pathway to not just agricultural development but also socio-economic development, African (and global) trade development and the empowerment of local communities. This transition offers multiple opportunities for Africa to thrive and accelerate the path to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
  2. CropLife Africa Middle East believes that the African Green Transition agenda needs to be uniquely tailored to, and supportive of, African needs. In agriculture this requires greater access to high-quality sustainable organic and synthetic inputs and innovation. Technology transfers resulting in more innovation are a key driver of Africa’s Green Transition.
  3. CropLife Africa Middle East believes that major trading partner green programmes, notably the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategies, should not undermine African countries’ actions and ambitions for inclusive and sustainable growth. There are generational opportunities to support a transition in agriculture across Africa that should not be lost.
  4. CropLife Africa Middle East calls on African policy-makers to urgently address the barriers to producing, supplying and trading goods within Africa. These barriers need to be removed as part of the African Continental Free Trade Area to further support the African Green Transition.
  5. CropLife Africa Middle East supports African countries ongoing work towards an African Green Transition agenda including within the African Union and in talks with the UN and with major partners including the EU.

Green transition in Africa

All 54 African countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the African Union’s development goals in its Agenda 2063, in 2013. In the last decade much effort has been invested in working towards building green economies across Africa.

Given many African countries reliance on agriculture for both trade and food/feed, this agenda goes far beyond just farmers and the environment. The Green Transition in Africa represents both challenges and opportunities across several areas: economic growth and social progress; sustainable and inclusive development; gender equality and youth empowerment; technology transfer; increased trade and unity within Africa and development and investment opportunities.

African Green Transition

African Green Transition is a “green growth model, including circular and blue economies; combatting climate change; protecting biodiversity and natural resources; ensuring food security and rural development as well as access to sustainable energy and developing transport solutions.” [EEAS Nov. 2021]

African countries contribute 3% of global carbon emissions. They face the most severe impacts of global climate change. Natural disasters like locust infestations, droughts and floods have displaced millions of people and massively disrupted socio-economic structures.

Access to innovations and technologies that can help improve resilience to the impact of climate change as well as helping reduce carbon emissions are needed. Removing barriers to trade in agriculture within Africa can also reduce emission by making it easier for global companies to produce and supply for Africa from within Africa.

The green transition can help fuel sustainable and inclusive growth for Africa. Africa has a large social and economic footprint in the continent and as such, can empower not only farmers, and the value chains that they belong to across Africa, but also the continent as a whole. The African green transition in agriculture needs to consider the following context in Africa:

  1.  It is one of the most food insecure parts of the world.1
  2. It is home to the world’s second largest rainforest, the Congo Rainforest. Achieving higher yields without that coming at the expense of forest land will require the use of high-quality inputs and good agronomic practices to help increase yields sustainably.
  3. Most farmers are smallholders and do not use modern technologies.2
  4. The average farm performs at approximately 40% of its potential.
  5.  Agriculture has a large share in GDP and employment.
  6.  It remains the continent the most impacted by climate change.

Technology can help African farmers deliver more with less and embed sustainable business development that in turn can drive more intra-regional agricultural trade (and decrease dependence on imports and simultaneously reduce CO2 emissions). For these opportunities to be realised, the African Green Transition needs to be driven by policies formulated based on the local context and realities. While a dialogue with global trading partners like the EU is important, the European Union’s Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy are formulated for the European continent based on their realities.

African Green Transition

“Against the 2021 targets of Agenda 2063 Africa as a whole is only 51% on track” [UN report February 2022]

Croplife Africa Middle East recommendations

  1.  Improved access to, and use of, yield increasing high-quality technologies must remain a priority so as to enable better use of existing farm land and avoid forest land being used for farming purposes.
  2. Steps need to be taken to enable the transition towards a circular economy so that plastics used for containers are kept in circulation in the economy for longer, helping cut carbon emissions and helping responsibly manage waste. 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. Plastic takes 400 years to degrade and only around 11% is recycled. Recycled plastic has around 70% lower carbon footprint than virgin plastic.
  3. Tackling counterfeit and illegal products must remain a priority. Illicit plant protection products may contain unassessed, unapproved, or poorly manufactured ingredients, with potential to endanger human health and the environment including biodiversity, plus the potential to destroy crops, posing a risk to farmers’ livelihood and food security. 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.
  4. Removal of barriers to trade within Africa would make it easier to produce and supply in Africa from within Africa, hence helping cut the carbon footprint of agricultural inputs. The African Continental Free Trade Area offers potential in this regard. Within the AfCFTA, there is also the potential, for a new protocol on climate and sustainability, to ensure greater alignment between it and the AU’s African Green Stimulus Programme (AGSP) and Green Recovery Action Plan (GRAP), which includes the concept of “resilient agriculture” and already seek to support climate finance.3

Croplife Africa Middle East

CropLife Africa Middle East A.I.S.B.L. is a non-for-profit industry organization representing the leading global manufacturers of pesticides, seeds and biotechnology products in Africa and the Middle East. Together with more than 20 national associations, CropLife Africa Middle East is the voice and advocate for the plant science industry in its region and worldwide.

CropLife Africa Middle East is committed to sustainable agricultural practices and to the responsible use of plant science technologies in the region. We promote the understanding of the benefits of modern plant science solutions. We are convinced that these products and solutions, developed and distributed by our member companies, are indispensable to control weeds.

We believe that the professional and responsible use of these products improve the incomes and livelihoods of farmers and their families and has the potential to contribute decisively to the growth of rural and national economies, as well as promoting food security in the region.

Categories Positions

Op-Ed: Africa Middle East Must Act Now to Make Agri-Food Systems More Resilient

The world is marking the World Hunger Day on May 28 and the evidence is clearer than ever – maintaining on-farm productivity globally is critical to global food security. A profound transformation of the global food and agriculture system is needed, and swift action needs to be taken to provide food and humanitarian relief to the most at-risk regions.

Agriculture puts food on our tables and is a pivotal industry for Africa and Middle East accounting for approximately 30% – 40% of GDP in most countries in the region. From time immemorial, Africa has been the epicenter of acute food shortage mainly due to civil conflicts and wars, pests and diseases, effects of climate change and the impact of COVID-19. The Russia and Ukraine war for example has resulted in uncertainty thereby triggering some policy implementation to limit exports of crop inputs and commodities, putting food security at risk. We have seen, and will continue to see, the prices of agricultural commodities rise. Particularly hard hit by acute food insecurity is the continent of Africa where it’s estimated that in 2021, 523,000 people in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and southern Madagascar alone experienced a  catastrophic famine, which resulted to death and starvation.

On top of it all, the European Union Green Deal, if implemented arbitrarily, will rule out the use of certain technologies like pesticides and gene editing – the kinds of innovations that will drive sustainable agriculture. Limiting farmers’ access to safe and effective plant science innovations will have a severe impact on millions of farmers who rely on these solutions to support their livelihoods and will be detrimental for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. For the region’s farmers to improve their yields and to provide society with healthy food, we need healthy plants. Plant science helps protect crops, allowing farmers to protect their yield, and consumers to continue to access and enjoy food that is pest-free and disease-free.

African and Middle Eastern countries are particularly susceptible to trickle down effects from the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy, pushing food security and zero hunger (SDG 2) further from the realm of possibility. It is increasingly clear that technologies and practices that support agricultural resilience are key to protecting food security and human health for generations to come. The World Hunger Day is a golden opportunity for all stakeholders in the food sector to take stock of the successes and failures – by governments, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, researchers – in ensuring global food security in the Africa Middle East region.

While our industry may not have all the answers to these challenges, we continue to work towards solutions. The plant science industry recognises the important role it plays to meet the SDGs and is responding to this task by:

  1. Developing training partnerships across the agricultural value chain to ensure smallholder farmers can grow healthy crops sustainably. Partners include governments, development organisations, foundations, and food distributors, with millions of farmers trained to date.
  2. Promoting innovative crop protection products that effectively help farmers fight pests such as Fall Armyworm, which has ravaged sub-Saharan African maize crops, and exploring new solutions in biotechnology to aid farmers in adapting to changing weather patterns with drought-tolerant seeds. Both these technologies facilitate the production of safe and nutritious food, while safeguarding the environment.
  3. Advocating for responsible farm management, consumption, and production to reduce carbon footprints.
  4. Training in sustainable use and effective management of pesticides. Since 2005, our network has been working to collect, safely dispose of and recycle plastic pesticide containers, while innovations in crop protection and biotechnology have helped farmers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Call to Action

For Africa and Middle East regions to fully, or partially, achieve food sustainability, they will have to confront an array of bottlenecks that have for years impeded the attainment of food security. In recognition of World Hunger Day on May 28, we call for all stakeholders across Africa Middle East to urgently to do everything in their power to strengthen their commitment to work together and find new ways to transform agri-food systems. This  day is a golden opportunity to remind the world to come up with practical solutions to achieve Zero hunger by 2030 as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement. These are just some of the actions that are needed to accelerate progress in the region on food security:

  1. Promote sound agricultural policies and on-the-ground investment in research and innovation.
  2. Support open, fair, and resilient global trade, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement in Africa’s agricultural sector as this remains key to supporting international markets and keeping supply chains moving; a sentiment that has been shared by G7 agriculture ministers and Food and Agriculture Organisation.
  3. Collaborate with leading technology providers to create powerful solutions for customers, increase high quality food production, and poverty reduction
  4. Create a conducive regulatory environment that enables the deployment and adoption of innovations
  5. Improve trade policy to better enable the free flow of food from where it can best be produced to where it is most needed.
  6. Improve linkages along the food and agriculture value chain and outside of the agriculture industry for new kinds of collaborations and innovation – from mobile to marketing to micro-financing.
    Improve policies to enhance access to necessary seed and plant science technologies.
  7. Increase regional integration and invest substantially in l infrastructure, agricultural research, new technologies (both biotechnology and mechanical) and extension services.

More resources will be needed to alleviate hunger in Africa because the number of people in need of food, especially in the continent of Africa, has been increasing since 2014.There is some hope for the region to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all. This can only happen if all players – industry, governments, donors, civil society, and NGOs – work together and implement interventions to build resilient food systems.

Source :

  • https://farmersreviewafrica.com/op-ed-africa-middle-east-must-act-now-to-make-agri-food-systems-more-resilient/
Categories Positions

Sustainable technologies in agriculture will be key to EU Africa partnership

As Europe and Africa agree their new partnership areas, agriculture will be key for Africa. For the sector to be an engine for sustainable development, generating inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth, the partnership needs to adapt the EUs Green Deal to the realities of Africa. Sustainable agronomic inputs, including synthetic and organic pesticides, are needed in Africa. The partnership must, however, focus on improved outputs. That is to say – an improved state of the environment, improved food systems and improved food security.

Fueling sustainable development through agriculture

Agriculture is the largest sector in Africa accounting for over 50% of the jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Yet, the average farm in Africa only performs at 40% of its potential. Eighty-four percent do not use agro-chemicals. Studies have found that by increasing productivity on farms, one immediately increases the incomes and livelihoods of about 60-70% of people. Studies also suggest that in Africa, for every 10% increase in farm yields, poverty falls by 7%.

Getting the sustainable growth agenda right in agriculture is essential. Africa is home to more than half of the world’s population facing food insecurity and yet is also the world’s fastest growing continent. Currently, Africa is the second largest continent in the world accounting for almost 17% of the world’s population. Africa’s population increases by roughly that of France every 2 years. By 2040, Africa will be home to the world’s largest labour force.

Sustainable technologies can protect and improve food security, incomes as well as the state of our environment. Nowadays, we are seeing European friends focus on the perceived need to reduce agricultural inputs. Yet, studies suggest that enforcing top-down reduction of inputs in Africa everywhere will only leave Africa worse off.

Studies done by a range of groups including the European Commission’s own study, one by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one by Kiel University, one by Wageningen University researchers and one by Egerton University’s Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy & Development of Kenya, all show that reducing pesticide use will lead to higher food prices and lower yields. A report from independent think tank European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) titled “A greener Europe at the expense of Africa?” also shows that there could be unintended consequence of worsening food poverty in Africa and increasing global warming outside the EU.

Innovating solutions to evolving challenges

The world’s leading research and innovation companies are striving to bring sustainable technologies to farmers, that increase yields sustainably, and to train farmers on the correct and safe use of technologies. As an industry, and together with local governments and technical institutes, and distributors and cooperatives, we are also giving agronomic advice so that yields that benefit the farmers, local communities and consumers, and the environment, can thrive hand in hand. Good agronomic practices like crop rotation and soil restoration, coupled with yield enhancing technologies that increase the health of a plant’s roots can help reverse soil erosion for example – a major threat to the sustainable future of our planet. We are also helping increase pollinators on farms, helping safely dispose of waste and helping connect farmers to market.

Technologies can help agriculture become more resilient to the realities of climate change and the evolving pests and diseases that keep threatening food security and livelihoods. These technology offerings can range from seeds that are more resilient to droughts for example, to those that are more resilient to the devastating Fall Armyworm. Crop protection and seed technologies are building resilience into our food systems.

The climate in Africa is causing Fall Armyworm to be a year-long challenge (cool, wet springs followed by warm, humid weather favor survival and reproduction of the pest). Based on 2018 estimates from 12 African countries, up to 17.7 million tons of a staple crop of maize, could be lost annually due to Fall Armyworm on that continent – enough to feed tens of millions of people. Overall, pests like Fall Armyworm and Desert Locusts, while not present in Europe, threaten the food security and livelihoods of over 300 million people in Africa every year. Technology, specifically good quality seeds and crop protection products, synthetic and organic, can help effectively tackle these challenges in an always more sustainable way.

Partnering for impact 

The necessary sustainable future cannot be made a reality by any single actor alone. Public private partnerships are needed. Billions of dollars of investments are needed to achieve sustainable development, and that needs to be coupled with an enabling regulatory environment, policies that deliver, and rapid implementation.

Around 60% of the world’s arable land is in Africa, but Africa is also home to the Congo Rainforest – the world’s second-largest rainforest that straddles six countries in Central Africa. What nobody wants to see is lower input use leading to an increasing amount of land being used for cultivation to try to meet growing demands, and that in turn to increase deforestation. A green agenda for Africa must capitalise on the potential of sustainable technologies – increasing the access to these technologies and eradicating illicit and counterfeit seed and crop protection (synthetic and organic pesticide) products that pose a risk to human health and the environment.

My message is a simple one. Agricultural inputs and technology can and should be a core part of delivering sustainable development in African agriculture. Farmers on this continent have to manage pests, diseases and climatic conditions that require a broad range of effective tools, and it’s a shared endeavour to ensure that they have these tools, have access to high value overseas markets and use products in safe and sustainable ways.

Jerome Barbaron is President of CropLife Africa Middle East.

Source :

  • https://macemagazine.com/sustainable-technologies-in-agriculture-will-be-key-to-eu-africa-partnership/

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