Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, MEP

The war against Ukraine threatens the food security of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Rising food prices and lack of food are hitting people in the poorest countries hard, as well as people who depend on humanitarian aid.

The combined threats of poverty, lack of access to social services, climate change and armed groups have led to a climate of instability and insecurity in many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

Over the past twelve months, several African countries have fallen de facto under the control of the military. In this context, it is important to remember that democratic governance depends on respect for the Constitution by the ruling executive. Free multi-party power and elections, while citizens of West Africa and the Sahel support democracy and seek equitable participation in the democratic process. A comprehensive response to the challenges facing West Africa.

Sahel countries need coordination between security, climate and development policies. Agriculture that respects the political climate involves, among other things, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, including the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Support for small-scale agriculture is all the more important given that family farms account for more than 90% of all farms in the world, and produce 80% of the world’s food by value.

However, these smallholders, and especially women, are struggling to access credit in the meantime. How do we envisage the security risk associated with the destabilization of the still functional employment areas between the Sahelian and coastal regions of Africa? – for example in the context of agriculture.

Climate change has reduced food security, hampering efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  Asymmetric competition endangers, for example, African fruit and vegetable producers as well as investments in the ecological transition.

The current conflict in Ukraine is shining a spotlight on vulnerabilities in the global food system. It is therefore up to the European Union to safeguard the rights of West Africa and the Sahel region to food sovereignty as a means of achieving nutritional security,. poverty reduction, local regional markets, paying particular attention to women and family farming, with the aim of ensuring the supply of affordable food accessible to all.

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own agricultural and food policies.  It pursues the objective of enabling each country to feed its own population and to be self-sufficient and self-reliant. Food security is one of the top priorities of the EU and all its citizens. The Union’s policy in this area, which is based on the primary responsibility of private operators, aims to protect the population against diseases caused by the food they consume.

Food security covers the entire food chain, “from farm to fork”. The intention of this ‘farm to fork’ strategy should reduce farmers’ dependence on external products is in line with this definition.

EU funding for agriculture through partnerships with developing countries must be in line with the 2030 Agenda and prioritise investments in agroecology and crop diversification There is a need to focus on supporting local food systems. This means ensuring that investments in policies and programs do not diminish the stability of the local food system.

The challenge is to provide effective services, where food insecure people live.


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