Dairy farmers from North Africa on April 10, 2019 protested outside the European Union (EU) headquarters in Brussels in Belgium against unabated export of dairy products to Africa. These farmers travelled thousands of kilometres to demand that the EU ensure that there is sustainable production of milk in European countries so they don’t obliterate the African dairy industry.
The protesting farmers from countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Algeria, etc, said since EU provides indirect subsidy to export dairy products, there is over-production of milk in European nations. The future doesn’t look much promising either. The EU Milk Market Observatory estimates that milk production will keep increasing for another decade. It projects that the production will increase to 176 million tonnes by 2026 from 163 million tonnes in 2017.
“It is the unsustainable agriculture policy of the EU that encourages the idea of over production of milk, which is then exported to African countries,” said Jurgen Maier of Forum on Environment and Development, a Berlin-based non-profit that advocates for farmers’ rights and justified trade system.