On the occasion of the 5th European Union – African Union (AU-EU) Summit held from Wednesday to Thursday in Abidjan, a delegation of European Parliamentarians visited a banana plantation to better understand the issues facing the agricultural and agricultural sectors. fruit in Africa.
The association Afruibana, a pan-African group of producers and exporters of fruit, Wednesday invited the delegation of European parliamentarians and journalists to visit a banana plantation in Grand-Nieky, near Abidjan.
On the spot, the parliamentarians were received by the leaders of Afruibana, Mr. Owona, president of the association and co-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and Mr. Kakou Gervais, vice-president of the association. As negotiations for the post-Cotonou agreements begin, the Afruibana association wanted to make parliamentarians aware of the importance of the banana sector for African countries by going directly to the field.
The banana sector is essential for the economic and social equilibrium of many African countries. Representing several tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, it responds to many economic and social issues. The EU often accounts for more than 80% of banana export opportunities.
“This visit was enriching, it allowed us to better understand the importance of the banana sector (…). I would also like to say that it was the European Parliament that took the initiative for banana accompanying measures (MAB), and that you can count on our commitment to keep Europe contributing to the development of bananas. African banana, “said Linda McAvan, MP, Chair of the Development Committee, after the visit.
“With this visit, we hope that the MEPs will have been sensitive to the challenges of the banana sector and its strong economic and social impact for local development. While many issues remain unresolved at the European level – such as the future of the safeguard clause or the tariff at the entrance of the European market for Latino bananas – Afruibana will be vigilant and active in order for the European Union to continue to participate in the development of the African banana sector, “added Kakou Gervais.
Afruibana is an association under Cameroonian law, headquartered in Douala and with representation in Brussels from the European institutions. Born from the reunion of several associations of producers and exporters of fruits from Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana, it brings the voice of African fruit producers to international institutions in the framework of the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral exchanges.
In Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, banana chains employ more than 15,000 people, representing almost 50,000 indirect jobs in each country. The two countries produced nearly 600,000 tonnes of bananas in 2016, reports a 35 ° North Agency press release.