Fischler argues that EPAs will promote food security in Africa
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CTA. 2004. Fischler argues that EPAs will promote food security in Africa. Agritrade, January 2004. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52863
Speaking in Rome at the FAO ministerial meeting on December 1 st 2003, the EU...
Speaking in Rome at the FAO ministerial meeting on December 1 st 2003, the EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler argued that ‘EPAs will be important building blocks for increased economic development, a means to remove cross-border barriers, ensure political stability, and increase trade between neighbouring countries, but first and foremost an instrument for development'. He implicitly argued that EPAs will ensure that the right foundation for growth and development is present.' Comment: It is far from clear just how EPAs will contribute to greater food security in African countries. The removal of cross-border barriers to trade between African countries can proceed without any need for EPAs with the EU, and is indeed proceeding apace in a number of regions. Equally, enhanced political stability is likely to be dependent upon the extent to which patterns of economic growth can be promoted which directly improve the livelihoods of the poor. It is far from clear how EPAs will contribute to this process, given the concentration of the poor in rural areas, their dependence on basic commodity production and the EU's disengagement from a policy of providing direct support for addressing the adverse consequences of commodity price declines. While EPAS could indeed, promote greater trade between neighbouring countries, this may well increasingly be a trade in goods originating in the EU and distributed through regional marketing chains – a trend already apparent in the dairy sector. Against this background the EC has yet to make the case for how EPAs will actually contribute to improved household food security in Africa.