Emmanuel Macron at the opening ceremony (picture La Croix)

Faced to the tough competition of Russian and Ukrainian that, 5 years earlier were customers of Europe on the market of wheat, Emmanuel Macron asks his European colleagues to make a block.

"By deploying a complete technical offer adapted to the needs of our customers, building on our domestic market, on the European markets a differentiated offer, also forging a new relationship with Africa that we will achieve and that we will avoid in somehow deadly competition towards the lowest price," said Mr. Macron.

"We cannot ask your generation to embrace the future by going to compete with other farmers who don’t have the same standards, they will never have the lowest prices," said him.

President Macron makes it clear that by 2050, the African population will double and that it will be a real opportunity for France and for Europe.

"This demographic challenge is a challenge for the African continent, a challenge for Europe because our destinies are linked, it is a challenge for our agriculture, it is an opportunity if we have to seize it," he hammered.

Emmanuel Macron recalled the effects of climate change on water resources, soil fertility and the advancement of the desert, while emphasizing that the agricultural and food challenge is high on the continent's agenda.

"Agriculture will be a pillar not only of the maintenance of Africa but of its success and its ability to provide a future for African youth to develop, to feed itself. During each of my travels on this continent, I perceived this expectation. Education and health constitute the third pillar of this strategy of development shared with Africa that we must lead and put our knowledge and expertise at the service of a long-term approach to develop sustainable and profitable agricultural value chains in Africa. This is the role of France and Europe," he said.

Africa, an opportunity to seize!

According to president Macron, Africa will be a new land of opportunity not only to export knowledge but also to make Africa a real consumer market for French and even European production.

However, this should be done with sensitivity in view of the paradigm shift in the relations between Africa and Europe.

"Our partners in Africa no longer want recipes from the past, neither do they want a pitiable vision of Africa, a vision confined to small-scale food production, they want to build a strong Africa, with strong agricultural sectors that create jobs, values and ultimately to give a future to local people," he added.

"We France, Europe, we must be at the appointment of this expectation. I say, for all farmers and decision-makers, it is an opportunity for us to seize, opportunity for shared development, opportunity to export of all our knowledge and opportunity to help us make the African continent succeed," urges Macron.

Block to counter competition

Emmanuel Macron insists on the common agricultural policy (CAP) under discussion at the European level, calls for unity in the ranks of the states of Europe to counter the rise of Russian, American, Chinese, etc. products.

On several occasions, he pointed out that the competition, it is not between European States. It will rather be necessary to get united, in group, to make segmentations and that each State in relation with the specificities of its soil, specialize in a strong industry and quality-based differentiation, so as to cancel the push of the competing powers.

Apart from unity, Macron points out that Europe's new agricultural policy will be based on three major promises for its agricultural youth, namely: the protection of farmers and consumers; the transition to ecology and anticipation by focusing on research and the renewal of generations.

On protection, it is very important that the farmer can be well protected against climate risks or anxieties by developing a real risk management strategy.

"This will go through a reserve to protect all states from market crises, then all the regulatory mechanisms of the sectors more efficient, more activated than the one existing in particular, a better articulation between private device empowering companies and public risk management tools," he continued.

On the ecological transition, Mr. Macron believes that agricultural policy should promote diversification of activities, encourage the production of renewable energy, encourage initiatives to increase the carbon storage capacity in soils.

In this, he proposes that the new CAP devotes resources to pay for environmental services provided by farmers to combat soil erosion, preserve the landscapes, maintain the forests, protect the fauna and flora.

Finally, technology and innovation must also help to solve some consumer concerns about product traceability. He mentioned the development of the block chain technology which makes it possible to guarantee the origin and the traceability of the products.

"Let's do this in Europe, the vanguard of agricultural data by developing tools that will track every product from raw material production to packaging, and processing. The innovation is there and it must be used in the agricultural world, it must be fully used because it is at the service of shared excellence and it will serve the consumer," supported the president.

Protecting African peasants

If Europe strengthens its ranks and the French president, even propose the establishment of a European force to ensure the standards of agricultural products that get into their space; track down the fraudsters; observe caution in the negotiations of trade agreements with the United States etc., Africa, remains as always, the land of future, and opportunities.

The demographic explosion (2050) coupled with the weak production capacity in the African States to guarantee food security for all, naturally, French and European expertise will be inevitable.

Africa must stand up. Sub-regional organizations (ECOWAS, WAEMU, etc.) or better, the African Union (AU) in its 2063 vision can already dust off common agricultural policies so that the interest of the African peasant were not violated in this great challenge emerging world.

Greater vigilance must be observed towards Europe in the next agricultural negotiations so that African farmers were also protected and live on the fruits of their labor.

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