The European Development Days (EDD) gathering, organised by the European Commission and held in Brussels, is a forum which brings the development community together to share ideas and experiences on innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. In 2016, it focused on five main themes: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. CTA seized this opportunity to organise five events during the 2-day forum.
A first debate organised by CTA and partners on Developments in agricultural trade and the Sustainable Development Goals in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries explored how the multilateral trade system can drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work. Discussions for this session also placed a special focus on the scope for agriculture to help drive poverty reduction.
Still on the subject of trade, and its implications for smaller economies and the producers who often form their backbone, a high-level panel – Treatment of food standards in mega-regional trade agreements: policy implications for ACP countries – discussed the effects of these agreements. The rules governing global trade threaten to sideline ACP countries even further from global value chains. Often agreed in negotiating fora where these nations have no voice, such trade regulations also impose a heavy burden in the form of more rigorous food standards, with cumbersome and costly compliance requirements for producers.
Accounting for some 40% of the agricultural labour force, women play a critical role in food production, processing and marketing and have the potential to make major contributions to improving rural livelihoods. A session on Gender and agricultural entrepreneurship showcased how women in agribusiness can be the drivers of positive change in the social and economic development of their communities, and how important it is to ensure that women have better access to productive resources and economic opportunities in agriculture.
Strengthening linkages between tourism and agriculture is another development approach that is rapidly gaining ground in some ACP regions, especially in Caribbean and Pacific island countries. These two sectors offer significant opportunities for inclusive economic growth. Stronger linkages between tourism and agriculture can also help to limit food imports and promote healthier diets based on local produce. A panel session – Supporting local and sustainable food production in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries – brought farmers, chefs and actors from the tourism sector together to share best practices on sustainable farming and agribusiness development.
The 5th debate, Ending hunger and undernutrition: It can be done faster, co-organised by CTA, lined-up high profile speakers who recognised that progress towards ending hunger and undernutrition is moving ahead too slowly. They discussed how the pace can be stepped up and the need for targeted research, innovations in delivery, and rapid interventions to reach the most vulnerable and inaccessible people.
For more information on the CTA-supported events, visit: http://www.cta.int/en/article/2016-06-08/promoting-agribusiness-development-at-european-development-days-2016.html