Threats & Opportunities for Small Farmers
29 May 2008 from 9.30am until 1.30pm
Irish Aid volunteering and Information Centre
An estimated 850 million people in the world today suffer from hunger, with about 820 million of those in developing countries. Many African countries are especially vulnerable to food insecurity, and the global food price crisis has brought recent riots to Egypt, Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Madagascar.
Influential people and groups, from Kofi Annan to the Gates Foundation and the World Bank to biotech and agro-food companies, along with some development agencies, are now urging a new Green Revolution for Africa, aimed at increasing productivity and farm incomes, alleviating hunger and boosting human development.
On Thursday, 29 May, Irish and African participants will explore the costs and benefits of the Green Revolution approach for Africa, and consider if there are any implications for the Hunger Task Force, soon to report to the Government on the appropriate Irish responses to addressing world hunger.
This forum, “A New Green Revolution for Africa – Threats & Opportunities for Small Farmers”, takes place at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre. Hosted by Dóchas Food Security and Livelihoods working group, the event will bring together NGO workers, academics, agriculture and environment interests, Irish Aid officials, African diplomats in Ireland and trade media to discuss the potential of the African Green Revolution initiative – especially for small-scale farmers, who are the backbone of African agriculture.
The main speakers at the forum are:
• Professor Jules Pretty, Environment & Society, of the University of Essex, chief editor of the New International Journal for Agricultural Sustainability and author of the books The Earth Only Endures (2007) and Agri-Culture (2002).
• Mairead McGuinness, MEP, who serves on the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, and is active on food safety and security and global development policy.
• Prince Kapondamgaga, Executive Director of the Farmers Union of Malawi, which is working to represent and promote the interests of that country’s farmers under the slogan, Nothing For Us Without Us.