A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Millennium Goals: The countdown is on

September 30, 2013

The 68th Session of the UN General Assembly held between September 17 and 20 in New York gave the attending heads of state an opportunity to address some critical issues, including a review of the eight Millennium Development Goals by 20151. Yet, the focus given to economic, social and human development through these objectives is not enough to cover up some uneasiness as the day of reckoning is approaching.

In effect, the European nations that committed to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA) by 2015 are far from reaching the objective. According to the data provided by the European NGO Concord Aidwatch, the actual contribution by member states might be well below the stated goal. It is really 0.37 percent––a difference of more than €5 billion compared to the announced pledges. More generally, the OECD indicates that global development assistance dropped an average of four percent in 2012.

Yet, the OECD also notes that the European Union remains the largest provider of development aid with €55.2 billion in 2012. Moreover, these efforts are genuine and improvements are noteworthy. The FAO recently recognized the €1 billion European food facility for developing countries (DCs) launched by the EU to cope with the 2008-2011 food price crisis.

It is now time for what FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva calls a “bold move”. The post-2015 agenda is eagerly being prepared by panels of experts and centered on many initiatives and questions: How can we best work for development in an unstable and volatile environment? How can we improve the future for more than one billion people?

Among the plethora of arguments and proposals brought forward, only one approach should be worthy of consideration by all involved: Not a single country in the world has experienced a stable and lasting economic growth without the prior development of its agriculture. For agriculture is the main source of income for over 40 percent of the world population. Yet, 70 percent of the world’s poor and undernourished people live in rural areas and are mostly farmers. On the other hand, agriculture and food only play a minor role in official development assistance (ODA). The portion earmarked for agriculture and food security in France’s ODA budget has declined since 2007.

In the end, agriculture is the strategic variable without which the eight Millennium Development Goals will never be fully reached. It must reclaim its central position in development issues. To that end, we must maintain and develop national, regional and global agricultural policies by redirecting their key objectives toward ensuring the right to food. Simultaneously, we must design regulations for global agricultural trade to protect food-crop farming, which is currently competing with the most aggressive types of export farming.

1 Additional details regarding the 8 MDGs is available from: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml

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Paris, 24 June 2019