By Edmund Smith-Asante
|H.E. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, AUC|
Delegates at the just-ended 12th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Partnership Platform (CAADP PP) in Accra have tasked the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to support the conduct of national agriculture investment plans (NAIPs) appraisals in African countries.
The AUC and NPCA are also expected to ensure the provision of technical support for the implementation of new NAIPs through the formation of technical networks. An update would be provided on the NAIPs Appraisal and the technical networks at the 13th CAAD PPP.
“Technical networks will help identify appropriate policies, programmes and practices that can accelerate the achievement of the Malabo Declaration goals and target,” the delegates, made up of experts in agriculture, farmers, representatives of national governments, public and private financial institutions and regional economic communities (RECs) among others, stated.
The 12th CAADP PP meeting was held on the theme: “Accelerating Implementation of CAADP through Innovative Financing and Renewed Partnerships.”
The purpose of the meeting was to identify the capacity needs and the required partnership needs at all levels to finance agricultural transformation and enable the implementation of the Malabo Declaration.
The meeting affirmed the vital role of agriculture in leading Africa’s development and serving as a catalyst for the needs of women and the youth and stressed that the Malabo Declaration was a strong political movement for the industrialisation of African agriculture, with the smallholder farmer playing a key part.
The Malabo Declaration is a pledge made by African governments in June 2014 at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to essentially end poverty on the continent by 2025 and also half poverty by the same time.
Delegates urged the two organising bodies to involve parliamentarians at both country and regional levels to support the implementation of the Malabo Declaration through legislation, budget planning and advocacy for the agriculture sector.
They also asked development partners to support CAADP through public and private sector windows and innovative financing models and implementation tools.
The meeting agreed on nine recommendations to improve the continent’s agriculture sector.
These included a collaboration among the AUC, NPCA and RECs, to design a comprehensive financing architecture, with a continental, regional and national perspective to ensure speedy implementation, coordination, complementary and accountable partnership across Africa. This is expected to fund the African agricultural investment to attain the Malabo commitments.
Touching on the finance landscape and policy environment, the meeting suggested that member states and development partners should highlight ways in which development finance could be delivered to the grassroots in an efficient and cost- effective manner.
On inclusive access to finance to empower women and youth, it was acclaimed that components that address the needs of women and youth, especially on land titles and practising agriculture as a business for women and creating smart investment for the youth based on quick returns, technology and innovation must be created.
Stakeholders in agriculture were also urged to consider how the digital revolution in financial services could be used to collect data for planning and risk management.
This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on April 19, 2016