Food crisis : Developed nations must stop subsidies, poor ones must eat local

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A principal researcher from Canada’s North-South Institute, Dr. John W. Foster, Tuesday urged governments from developed countries “to phase out agricultural subsidies” given to their farmers as part of measures towards solving the current food crises faced by the developing world, including Africa.

Dr. Foster, who is also a member of a delegation assigned to deliver civil society’s message to the fifth on-going Dakar meeting of “Leading Group” on “Solidarity Levies”, made his argument during an interview.

The delegation was set up at the end of the just-concluded regional civil society “consultation” on “Innovative Development Financing Mechanism” which attracted some 25 participants from Africa and beyond.

Dr. Foster also observed that for the third world countries, particularly those in Africa, to tackle the food crises, “they need to pay more attention to their domestic market”.

This, he said, meant that Africans should produce more of what they consume and always “eat local”.

He added “African governments should get market access for their farmers in the developed world without giving out too much at home.”

“African governments need to listen to their farmers, scientists and technocrats,” he said, adding, “plants appropriate to the climate and land should be used.”

The Canadian researcher also argued that if Africans must go for loans to tackle the food crises or carry out agricultural projects, they must embark on “responsible borrowing”.

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