Agricultural Forum, DAKAR, february 2005

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FINAL DECLARATION OF PEASANT ORGANIZATIONS
TO THE DAKAR AGRICULTURAL FORUM

From 2 to 3 February 2005, representatives of Peasants' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas met to prepare their contribution to the International Forum of Dakar on the Agricultural Fracture. Launched by the ROPPA1 and the CNCR2, the Pre Forum was also open to civil society, researchers, development partners, local authorities and national public administrators.

The basic missions of agriculture:

· Food security

· Social equilibrium: job creation, limiting rural exodus, access to land, peasant or family-based agriculture, development of rural areas, etc.

· Environment (soil quality, erosion, water)

Observations

The neo-liberal policies and the dogmatic vision which have characterized development models of the past 20 years have ignored these missions of agriculture. They have also closed an eye to the imperfections of world markets. They have resulted in crises and an aggravation of the fracture.

The priority assigned to exportations has caused a collapse of world prices, to the deterioration of terms of exchange, without any benefits for consumers. It has also led to the ruin and the disappearance of a vast number of family farms in the South as well as in the North. A steadily growing number of peasants are landless, or lack access to means of production or financing.

Structural adjustment policies introduced 25 years ago have not reduced famine and malnutrition in developing countries, nor have they promoted an equitable distribution of wealth.

Requirements

1.Reassign priority to the basic missions of agriculture.

This implies, in particular, respecting the following rights:

· Food sovereignty

· Effective protection against importations

· Access to means of production: water, land, seeds, financing...

2.Stabilize world agriculture prices at a remunerative price for all farmers through mechanisms of regulation and supply management. Priority should be given to tropical product markets.

3. Introduce a moratorium on multilateral and bilateral agricultural negotiations (WTO and EPA) so long as they fail to respect the above principles.

1 Network of Peasants' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations of West Africa

2 National Rural Peoples' Council for Dialogue and Cooperation of Senegal

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