NGOs welcome France's withdrawal from initiative that promotes agribusiness at the expense of local farmers in 10 African countries

Author: Action against Hunger, CCFD-Terre Solidaire & Oxfam France, Published on: 12 February 2018

"France Withdraws from NAFSN: Agribusiness is not the cure for hunger"

Action Against Hunger, the CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Oxfam France...[have welcomed France's] decision to withdraw from the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) as announced today during the inter-ministry council for international cooperation and development meeting. Launched in 2012, this initiative favours the interest of transnational agribusiness corporations to the detriment of peasant agriculture. It has been denounced by hundreds of organisations1 for its negative impacts on food security and peasantry in the ten involved African countries2. The stakes behind France withdrawal is now to recognize that the so-called « magic bullet » mixing public-private partnerships and legislative reforms to create an enabling environment for transnational companies’ investments, is not the solution to fight hunger. On the contrary, it goes against the interest of local populations, marginalizes family farms – although they produce 70% of the global food items – to the benefit of a few transnational companies which are given all the facilities : finance, taxes, land tenure...

France's withdrawal should be taken into account by the other NAFSN partners, such as the European Union and African States. Germany, another main contributor to the NAFSN, must also announce its withdrawal. This does not clear any of these actors from redressing the negative impacts of this initiative as they remain responsible for it. Beyond NAFSN, France must learn from this failure and no longer engage in investment projects and initiatives comporting similar flaws. The exclusion of farmers’ organisations from the governance, the absence accountability frameworks and the prioritisation of transnational companies to the detriment of local actors is not the cure to hunger.

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