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Where China poisons Africa

At the risk of seeming obsessed with China and the impact of its model on the subjects that matter to us, we must recognize that this country always prioritizes its interest, and once again to the detriment of emerging countries. Thus, after the capture of natural resources, the heavier debt burden, and the export of (Chinese) coal-fired power plants, here come phytosanitary products.

While the virtuous Europeans may be belatedly taking the path of more responsible production and therefore use of pesticides, their dominant position in the market for its products is gradually eroding. We have indeed made a lot of progress in this area, the awakening of ecological awareness in this area has sparked research leading to high-tech products, allies of the more precise and sustainable agriculture of the future. We are undoubtedly far from organic farming but are gradually moving towards a reduction in the impact.

In the meantime, China is increasing its production of pesticides to such an extent that it now produces almost half of the 4 million tons produced worldwide each year, a market estimated at $ 61 billion in 2020, thus achieving a market share of more than 40 % in value. This strategy was understandably and initially dictated by the fragile food situation of its 1.4 billion inhabitants. At the same time, the share of pesticides protected by patents (priced at $81 per kilo), produced mainly in Europe has been halved while generics (at an average $ 23 per kilo) inevitably grow in volume. It is noted that the generics sector, thus now dominated by China, is only viable because it does not pay the costs associated with their negative impact (pollution control, investments in agroecology, health).

Consequently, the products used in Europe have become non-competitive in the regions of the planet which are obliged to accept prohibited molecules and after China's takeover in agrochemicals, its model now exports enormous overcapacity of pesticides. In the coming years, there is a clear risk that Africa will become the world's garbage from this point of view. The continent is already suffering from the dissemination of products which are now banned in Europe. With Chinese exports, the risk increases as a third of the volumes of pesticides leaving the factory are considered illegal because they do not comply with the safety rules established in Europe.

Well, our projects maintain islands of sustainable agricultural production, that's our contribution, but the demographic constraint will push for the expansion of extensive agriculture as with 1.2 billion inhabitants in 2017, the continent should be close to 2.5 billion in 2050. We remind of the collateral damages in India :


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