Helping local farmers feed Africa

Published: 06 December 2010

It can all boil down to this short and sharp sentence: "Partnership instead of dependance", so addressed the president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka in the morning session on Aid Effectiveness.

The same message was highlighted in the panel on the Role for Local Authorities in Least Developed Countries. Impressing and moving was the determination of Kadidia Diawara, the mayor of the Dandougou Fakala District in Mali. Her speech unfolded the daily hurdles she comes across as the local major of the Dandogou Fakala District of Mali However, she emphasized the importance of empowering the locals in their efforts to overcome their problems.

Assistance to third world countries implies giving the locals the chance to take part in the decision making process and the conflict solution. Local authorities, who are very aware of this, claim that the lack of good infrastructure is one of the main barriers slowing down their efforts. No argue that technical support has to be provided in order for the locals to enhance and build up their capacities.

Why not helping local farmers to feed Africa? If road networks and irrigation system are built up, farmers will have it easier to deliver their products in the market and not depend only on rain. Help them rely in their own holders farmers rather than shipping them products from big western food companies.