Efficiency and Not Self-Sufficiency is the Key for Agricultural Development in Africa, says Pascal Lamy, DG of the World Trade Organisation

Geneva, February 21, 2011

Delivering his key note address at the CUTS international conference in Geneva on 21 February, Pascal Lamy, DG World Trade Organisation stated that the African agriculture needs to become more efficient, and in that efficiency it needs to discover "specialization". CUTS Geneva Resource Centre had organized this conference on the theme "Harnessing Agriculture for Development through Trade" to present the findings of its research on agriculture-trade-development linkages in five African countries. Mr Lamy also stated that the Doha Round will help level the playing field for Africa, correcting historical injustices in the world trade rule book.

DG Lamy's views were echoed by Ann Tutwiler, Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation. In her address to the conference, she stated that development of agriculture in Africa requires a multi-pronged approach combining policy and practice, private and public partnership, and national and multilateral synergies.

Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International in his Welcome Address appreciated the role that many development partners are playing for the development of Africa, particularly of agriculture. He stressed the positive contribution of CUTS in this respect and invited all development partners to join hands for inclusive and broad-based African growth.

While inviting DG Lamy to launch the CUTS research publication, Ramamurti Badrinath, Director CUTS Geneva Resource Centre elaborated on CUTS unique strengths, i.e. grassroots linkages, inclusive approach, and interlinked research, advocacy and networking activities.

The day-long conference was attended by a large number of African and Geneva-based representatives of governments, international organisations, NGOs and research institutions. The presentations and discussions affirmed that CUTS research study has set out a relevant menu of recommendations. These include the need to increase agricultural productivity, promote regional trade, improve infrastructure, build capacities of farmers and traders, and early conclusion of the Doha Round with development-friendly outcomes.

For further details, contact Josiane Rufener at geneva@cuts.org.