American food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but also may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help...[by competing] with the crops of struggling local farmers.
In taking this stand, CARE is breaking not only from its own past, but also from the general practice among similar agencies.
As we argued in a recently-issued statement, the real solution is far more complex: better access for farmers to markets and capital, appropriate technologies, farm inputs, diversified crop and animal portfolios, secure land tenure, adequate irrigation, the infrastructure and capacity building they need to connect to local, regional and international markets and supply chains, and better information on the current and future levels of demand for their crops.
We have also argued for a fairer world trading system. This includes ending market-distorting subsidies by the US (and EU) on the products that matter most to African farmers. Supporting farmers in a way that fundamentally damages their long term prospects, and is rooted in a problematic trade arrangement, is flawed. By standing up to its peers, CARE has brought this practice out into the open. And for that it should be congratulated.