Agriculture & Food for Development APPG
The APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development (APPG AgDev) brings together Parliamentarians concerned with agriculture, nutrition and food security in the developing world.
The APPG recognises that a vibrant, resilient and enviornmentally sustainable agricultural sector is key to development and that agriculture is one of the most effective tools to ensure economic, social and political well-being in developing countries. Smallholder farmers are central agents in addressing global hunger, eradicating poverty and increasing national productivity. In recognising this, the APPG uses its cross-party membership to facilitate informed and progressive debate to deepen understanding of the needs, opportunities and challenges of the 500 million smallholder farmers who feed 2 billion people worldwide.
The APPG was established in October 2008 in response to growing concerns over the heightened Food Crisis and a chronic underfunding of agricultural development by bilateral and multilateral organisations and national governments. Chaired by Jeremy Lefroy MP and co-chaired by Lord Cameron of Dillington, the APPG is a cross-party initiative drawing members from both Houses of the UK Parliament.
Parliamentary Visits have included trips to Ethiopia, India, Sudan, Tanzania, Ghana and, most recently, the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture agencies.
If you require more information on the group or would like to receive reports, news and updates on the group's work, or you wish to join the APPG, please contact the Group's Coordinator – Lis Wallace.
This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.
APPG meets with European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
Lord Cameron of Dillington, co-chair of the APPG, visited Brussels for a day of meetings on 1st October. He met with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit for Rural Development, Food and Nutrition at Europaid, Dr. Jurgen Anthofer, Executive Secretary for Agricultural Research for Development and the Secretariat for the Committee on Development in the European Parliament. The meetings focused on the importance of support for smallholder farmers to achieve the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals and the role of profitable smallholder agriculture as an engine for growth in rural communities in sub-Sahara Africa.
APPG elects Officers and reconstitutes for new term
On Thursday 2nd July the APPG was formally reconstituted for the new Parliament.
Jeremy Lefroy MP (Conservative) was elected as Chair, Lord Cameron of Dillington (Crossbench) was re-elected as Co-Chair, and Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley (Labour) was relected as Secretary.
Joining the executive, Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour), Mark Durkan MP (SDLP), Pauline Latham OBE MP (Conservaitve), Lord Chidgey (Liberal Democrat) and the Countess of Mar (Crossbench) were duly elected as Vice-Chairs.
Following the election, Officers discussed the APPG's priorities and strategy for the year ahead. It was agreed that the APPG will focus on the following broad areas:
- Access to and sources of finance for smallholder farmers and on- and off-farm agribusiness development;
- Infrastructure facilitating smallholder participation in markets;
- The impact of climate change on food security and smallholder agriculture and support for smallholders to adapt and build resilience;
- The implementation of proposed Sustainable Development Goal 2 and the role of different actors and partnerships in its delivery;
- Nutritious food systems.
Bill Gates tells MPs: 'Agriculture is really big for us'
On Wednesday 24th June Bill Gates addressed MPs and Peers in the State Rooms, Speaker's House in an event hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Development APPGs and BOND. Bill Gates was introduced and the Q&A chaired by Jeremy Lefroy MP (Chair of the APPG AgDev). Prior to the event, Bill Gates had met with several MPs and stressed how important supporting smallholder farmers is to the Gates Foundation, saying 'Agriculture is really big for us.'
In his wide-ranging address to parliamentarians, Bill Gates thanked the UK government for their generosity and leadership and thanked the APPGs for their partnership and role in keeping parliamentarians engaged. During his address Bill Gates focused on health issues and achievements such as reducing the number of deaths from malaria by 50%, and talked about the importance of solving malnutrition, saying that until malnutrition is no longer an issue, Africa will not be able to become self-sufficient. Bill Gates also talked about the need to increase contraception in developing countries and the role of women's groups in achieving this, as well as highlighting how vitally important it is to create functioning tax collection systems to increase domestic resource collection and funding of public services.
In an equally wide-ranging Q&A, Bill Gates answered questions centred on the role of data collection and transparency, the need for modern health care systems, the impacts of climate change on development and corruption. Lord Cameron (Co-Chair of the APPG AgDev) asked about the importance of knowledge sharing, access to knowledge and the role of ICTs for smallholder farmers. Bill Gates' responses agreed and in addition highlighted the importance of accessing seed, credit, adequate soil quality and land rights, as well as talking about the positive role that agro-dealers can play.
The event concluded with the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP thanking Bill and Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation for their leadership and their commitment to ending poverty.