Biotech Updates

Partnership to Strengthen Parliamentary Action to Support Agric Development

October 9, 2009

African parliamentarians will benefit from a new partnership aimed at helping them formulate and promote policies to help smallholder farmers make the transition from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture. The partnership between the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) specifically strengthen parliamentary committees overseeing agriculture and trade.

"There is nothing more fundamental to the success of democracy than people's access to food," said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, AGRA's Vice President for Policy and Partnerships. "Africa cannot build democracy on empty stomachs and the best way to secure the right to food is for Africa to produce its own food."

In a press release, the organizations noted that the partnership "will foster greater debate on agriculture as an engine of pro-poor growth and support the capacity of parliamentary committees to engage on evidence-based policy dialogues, on how African countries can cope with major challenges." These challenges include: the effects of climate change on African agriculture; laws and practices biased against women in agriculture; and access of farmers to technology and markets.

In Europe, the AGRA-AWEPA partnership will encourage the EU donor community to meet their development aid commitments to Africa, particularly in agriculture.

The press release is available at