"From rhetoric to action" - African civil societies ask governments to put small-scale producers first

Download the 10 joint policy recommendations for a transformed agriculture and food secure Africa, which civil society present to African Agriculture Ministers meeting in Addis Ababa on 1 May 2014.
Download the communique from the non-state actors meeting on 30 April 2014.

2014 is a vital year for the future of agriculture in Africa. It marks the tenth anniversary of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), a pan-African agreement and development programme aimed at boosting productivity in agriculture, alleviating poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability. It is also the African Union (AU) Year of Agriculture and Food Security and the UN Year of Family Farming. At the June AU summit, African leaders will adopt a new declaration on African agriculture, outlining new commitments, goals and targets for the next decade of CAADP.

ACORD, as part of CAADP’s Non-State Actors group, has been working hard to influence this process to ensure that the needs of Africa’s small-scale producers are reflected in these decisions and that governments take the necessary actions to realise their stated goals on transforming agriculture on the continent. A key part of this has been to coordinate a landmark statement on behalf of African civil society actors, detailing the 10 essential policies and approaches needed to ensure that African leaders move “From rhetoric to action.”

The policies are:

  1. Increase quantity of agriculture spending
  2. Improve quality of agriculture spending
  3. Improve policy making under CAADP to be more effective, mutually accountable and participatory
  4. Improve transparency of agriculture spending
  5. Eliminate the gender and youth gap in agriculture
  6. Strengthen small-scale producers land rights through improved resources for land governance and adoption and implementation of the AU “Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa”
  7. Increase investment in inclusive agriculture research, development and extension services
  8. Foster access to markets for small-scale farmers, investment in small-scale farming, and responsible private sector investments
  9. Integrate sustainability and climate resilience into national agriculture plans
  10. Put in place mechanisms for preventing and managing the recurrent food and nutrition crisis

You can read the statement here in its:
long version or short version.

Over 120 African non-governmental organisations, producers organisations, and civil society networks have signed the statement.

As part of the process to agree on the summit declaration, the AU and the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) are hosting a joint conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries and Aquaculture in Addis Ababa, from April 28 to May 2, 2014. Non-state actors have been invited to attend the meeting and on April 30, ACORD and its allies in civil society, including farmers’ organisations, will hold a high-level meeting with governments, donors, regional and continental institutions and other stakeholders at which the statement will be presented. The statement will also be presented directly to ministers on May 1.

During the AU Summit in January, ACORD put forth some clear policy recommendations to enhance CAADP implementation. These are presented in the report, “Putting small-scale farming first:  This report analyses the National Agriculture Investment Plans (NAIPs) of five countries – Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Burkina Faso – and assesses the extent to which they are likely to benefit smallholder farmers. The NAIPs are the flagship strategies of governments, outlining how they will support the agriculture sector in the coming years and include ambitious spending plans.

  • africa
  • african union
  • agriculture
  • civil society
  • food security
  • government policies
  • 10 recommendations

    10 joint policy recommendations:
    More than 120 African CSOs have signed on to 10 joint policy recommendations towards a transformed agriculture and food secure Africa.

    Download long version
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    Download short version
    English French


    Africa can feed itself so what’s going wrong? Watch the video and learn more about CAADP, the continental roadmap to sustainable agriculture
    Read more on ACORD's work in Agriculture and food security.

    New publication

    Putting small-scale farming first:
    Improving the national agriculture investment plans of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania

    Released January 2014

    Download report
    English | French