It has not been easy for farmers of Africa to engage and involve themselves with the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) initiative. We had to undertake a n`umber of activities around NEPAD/CAADP to enable our members understand the CAADP initiative and explore possibilities of making a contribution.
Between 2002 – 2004 for example, ROPPA and EAFF spearheaded an awareness creation process through a consultation processes and regional workshops in West, Central, East and Southern Africa. From 23rd to 25th Feb 2004, ROPPA and EAFF organized a Pan Africa Farmers Workshop on CAADP in South Africa which packaged and released The Pretoria Declaration.
The Pretoria declaration outlined our vision of the type of Agriculture that should be developed under CAADP: one that is modern, sustainable, ensures social, economic and ecological functions and is able to guarantee family solidarity, equity and management of natural resources.
Agriculture in Africa should ensure remunerable and stable income to family farmers, decent livelihoods; achievement of Millennium development goals especially on hunger and poverty through growth in Agriculture; agriculture led economic growth; sustainable food security and sovereignty; dignity to African producers and citizens and a development process that is more respectful to our culture and values.
Our participation in the regional planning meetings in preparation for the launching of the implementation of CAADP in 2005 and the actual launching of CAADP for implementation in ACCRA – Ghana on 7th to 10th June 2005 not only enabled us establish a working relationship with regional economic communities (such as COMESA and ECOWAS) on crosscutting issues but it also exposed us to the contents of the CAADP initiative. We farmers’ organizations decided to fully support the CAADP initiative.
CAADP recognizes the fact that the majority of people in Africa live in the rural areas and therefore depend on agriculture; to achieve food security and trigger economic growth in Africa, agriculture must perform; the key constraints hindering productivity in agriculture must be removed and the necessary institutional environment for improved agricultural production must be put in place.
Key Principles and Targets of CAADP
• Agriculture-led growth as a main strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on poverty reduction
• The pursuit of a 6% average annual sector growth rate at the national level; with particular attention to small-scale farmers, especially focusing on women;
• The allocation of 10% of national budgets to the agricultural sector the exploitation of regional complementarities and cooperation to boost growth;
• Policy efficiency, dialogue, review, and accountability;
• Partnerships and alliances to include farmers, agribusiness, and civil society communities; have integrated farmers into the market economy and have improved access to markets to become a net exporter of agriculture products;
• Achievement of a more equitable distribution of wealth;
• Strategic play in agricultural science and technology development;
• Environmentally sound production methods and have a culture of sustainable management of the natural resource base.
We believe that if the CAADP pillars (which are: extending areas under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems; Improving rural infrastructure and trade related practices for market access; Increasing food supply, reducing hunger and improving responses to food emergency crisis and finally, Improving agricultural research and technology dissemination and adoption) are well elaborated and take into account issues and principles regarding the initiative, there would be tremendous improvement in our Agriculture.
At all levels, agriculture must be supported through well formulated policy frameworks and strategies. The policies and strategies in place just like CAADP may have shortcomings, but should be applied and continuously reformed. Even with its negative effects on agriculture in the developing countries, the Common agricultural Policy (CAP) of Europe managed to develop agriculture in Europe. To ensure that CAP addresses challenges of the 21st century, it has been reformed. It is now a regional policy with new dimensions such as rural development, value addition, competitiveness, income support systems to producers and improved funding.
Farmers’ Perspectives on Getting Agriculture Working
To get Agriculture working in Africa, it is important for all of us to be clear on the system of Agriculture that benefits from investments directed to the agriculture sector bearing in mind that our agriculture is predominantly small scale and family based. We need to be clear on the markets we want to service first. The farmers’ networks of Africa have prioritized regional markets. As we develop our agriculture, it is important to be aware that it will strongly be characterized by diversity in production and management .
Performance of African agriculture cannot be based on just one, two and even four solutions to get it working. Our agriculture has faced challenges such as globalization, IMF/SAPs effects, degradation of national resources, conflicts, women empowerment in Agriculture and health factors such as HIV/AIDs, Malaria and TB. We need on short and long term basis to address these challenges together with others that have recently emerged such as climate change, biofuels and cost of farm inputs.
In view of the current food crisis, we need well targeted intervention to the agricultural sector in the next two years that includes:
• Increased financial support to Agriculture
• A differentiated support to small scale agriculture through subsidized farm inputs, quality seeds, fertilizers and upscaling/outscaling of small scale irrigation projects
• Additional support to extension services to provide training to producers
• Support research especially in seed production and soils management
• Organisation of small holder agriculture around production and markets and
• Facilitating domestic and regional markets, through infrastructure improvement and fast tracking regional integration.
Farmers Message to Heads of State June/July 2009 Summit
(1) Set a very short term deadline for all states to meet the 10% of national budget allocation to the agricultural sector and in six months schedule a special AU heads of state summit to gauge and validate progress.
(2) Agree on a six month deadline for all states to finalize the national CAADP-COMPACTS
(3) Stop endorsing any CAADP pillar whose elaboration has not involved farmers organizations at all Sub-Regional levels and other key stakeholders in Africa.
(4) Approve establishment of a CAADP governance framework at the continental, Regional and National level. Our proposal as producer organizations is establishment of CAADP steering committee at all levels bringing together government, Farmers organizations and other stakeholders in food security.
(5) Halt the land grabbing process in Africa (for biofuels, servicing external food security and speculation) until governments have developed guidelines and policies that are fully negotiated with all the stakeholders and citizens to help govern these processes that have now assumed a very ugly and unsustainable outlook.
Before the meeting of the heads of state we farmers organizations request the AU- Commissioner of Agricultural and rural development immediately conduct a profile of CAADP pillar elaboration and in consultation with regional farmers Organizations agree on pillar frameworks that should be submitted for adoption by the summit and those that should be referred back for revision.
We also demand that the African Union Commission for Agriculture and rural development spearhead a process that will ensure that the African position in trade agreements is in line with the CAADP objectives and all clearly respect multifunctionality of the type of agriculture we producers practice.
We would like to see agriculture supported in an orderly and professional manner. We therefore have a very important role to play in driving the CAADP agenda. In order to do so, the following entry points are very important for us:
(1) Seek involvement in pillar framework elaboration as members of the expert reference groups.
(2) Be fully involved in the National COMPACT development
(3) Sit on committees that govern the CAADP Agenda
(4) Continuously sensitize and inform our members on all developments in the CAADP initiative at all levels
(5) Involvement and full participation in the CAADP initiative at all levels.
(6) Be part of the processes that monitor and evaluate the initiative
We would like to see a clear shift in the way the CAADP initiative is managed to ensure our participation. We want to take the lead and ownership of the initiative. We ought to be aware that the value and visibility of CAADP will not depend on the number of roundtables we organize, but on a diverse representation at the tables of farmers through their organizations to facilitate well negotiated development processes of our agriculture. We would like this discussion forum to be a wake-up call to the NEPAD secretariat.
The Secretariat has neither mobilized resources to assist continuous dialogue with farmers organizations on NEPAD and CAADP initiative nor involved themselves with the activities of farmers organizations to be able to see Africa agriculture through the eyes of the producers. In some instances the secretariat has failed to attend meetings organized by farmers organizations even with invitations. The case in point is the International meeting on CAADP organized by farmers organizations in Kigali, Rwanda on 26th to 28th November 2008 and facilitated by EAFF.
Whereas we commend development partners for supporting the CAADP Agenda, we are disappointed by our own government failure to meet their commitments for a 10% national Budget allocation to the agricultural sector. The Maputo Declaration 2002 has already been overtaken by events. We should not be discussing meeting the commitments we made, but a renewal and improvement of this commitment.
We need capacity to own and drive the CAADP process. We thank our traditional supporter on CAADP-activities –IFAD and welcome with thanks the EC grants and salute the governments of Rwanda, Malawi and others that have been able to meet and exceeded the MAPUTO commitment.
By Mr. Philip M.Kiriro
President, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation
Excerpts from Philip Kiriro’s presentation at the 4th Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Partnerships Platform Meeting in Pretoria, South Africa.
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