Monday, 14 July 2008

G-8 vows to support Africa over food crisis

Hokaiddo Japan 7th July. Leaders of the Group of Eight nations vowed to help Africa overcome the food crisis with better agricultural productivity as they started their summit in northern Japan, taking up the challenges of drawing up initiatives to tackle climate change, food security and fuel price rises.

The G-8 was told by the heads of seven key African countries to honor past aid commitments as well as exercise leadership in supporting the poor nations most severely affected by the food and oil price surges, including helping them become self-sufficient in their food supplies.

The African leaders from Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and the African Union Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank called on the leading economic powers to fulfill their commitments on African development, including those made in previous summits, and to press forward with the early conclusion of the Doha Round of trade liberalization negotiations under the World Trade Organization to enable better market access for African agricultural products.

The G-8 leaders issued a special statement on the food security issue, stipulating their support to help double Africa's food production and the establishment of food stockpiles in member nations to enable swift provision of aid in emergencies.

Venue for Group of eight Hokkaido Toyako summit meeting at Windsor Hotel Toya in Toyako, northern Japan

Hereunder are some extracts:

  • reverse the overall decline of aid and investment in the agricultural sector, and to achieve significant increases in support of developing country initiatives, including – in Africa – through full and effective implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP);
  • support CAADP’s goal of 6.2% annual growth in agricultural productivity, and work toward the goal of doubling production of key food staples in African countries meeting CAADP criteria in five to ten years in a sustainable manner, with particular emphases on fostering smallholder agriculture and inclusive rural growth;
  • promote agricultural research and development, and the training of a new generation of developing country scientists and experts focusing on the dissemination of improved, locally adapted and sustainable farming technologies, in particular via the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and through partnerships such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA);
  • accelerate research and development and increase access to new agricultural technologies to boost agricultural production; we will promote science-based risk analysis including on the contribution of seed varieties developed through biotechnology;
  • support country-led development strategies in adapting to the impact of climate change, combating desertification, and promoting conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, while intensifying our efforts to address climate change;
  • ensure the compatibility of policies for the sustainable production and use of biofuels with food security and accelerate development and commercialization of sustainable second-generation biofuels from non-food plant materials and inedible biomass; in this regard, we will work together with other relevant stakeholders to develop science-based benchmarks and indicators for biofuel production and use.

Reference: G8 Leaders Statement on Global Food Security