The 10th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) meeting in Durban, South Africa

 All Africa Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on African leaders to own and recommit to the CAADP process

Agriculture is essential to Africa’s long-term and sustainable economic growth, and a solution to some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, such as youth employment and climate change.

African Heads of State and Government have designated 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security, while the UN General Assembly has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. The year 2014 also marks the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
The 10th CAADP partnership platform meeting opened in Durban, South Africa this week with a call to African leaders to own and recommit to the CAADP process. The meeting will facilitate broad-based and inclusive consultations and dialogue among all relevant stakeholders drawn from country, regional, continental and global partners covering state and non-state stakeholders including private sector, farmers and civil society.

Tom Fry, ACORD’s Policy and Advocacy Advisor, said of the event: “The partnership platform is an important event for CAADP, as with its multi-stakeholder engagement, it is one of the ways that the principle of inclusivity behind CAADP can be realized. Farmers Organisations and CSOs have been actively participating in the event, sharing our recommendations on how CAADP should support the small-scale food production sector and help realize its potential for economic and social transformation on the continent. It is important that these messages reach the ministers and heads of state who will this year be defining the second generation of CAADP on the continent. This will also rely on the AU, NEPAD, member states and other relevant authorities living up to the emphasis on participation and involving non-state actors at every step of the process.”

The meeting is expected to facilitate mutual learning and experience sharing among countries with a view to strengthening and deepening country engagements and ownership to advance the agriculture and food security agenda. It will be a platform where high-level political dialogue (including Ministers and parliamentarians), will be engaged to seek demonstrable commitment on goals, actions and targets for agricultural transformation in the next decade.

CAADP is in line with the thrust of the AU Agenda 2063, a huge part of which is agricultural transformation and also central in the recently adopted Common Africa Position on Post2015.

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.

If the NAIPs are to transform agriculture and promote broader development, they must focus on the people who do most of the farming – smallholder farmers, who are usually defined as those with less than two hectares of land. Yet smallholders have often been neglected in government policy, despite comprising the majority of Africa’s population. In addition to low spending on agriculture in many countries, much spending has insufficiently prioritised the needs of smallholder farmers.

Our analysis in this report is that the NAIPs of these five countries show a significant commitment to the agricultural sector. However, this commitment is not matched by sufficient recognition of the importance of smallholder farming to reducing poverty reduction and promoting food security. Our analysis identifies five specific policy failings, for governments to address and improve if smallholder farmers are to benefit optimally from agriculture strategies:

  • Insufficient prioritization of the real needs of smallholder farmers
  • Poor focus on women farmers
  • Lack of explicit prioritization of sustainable agriculture
  • Unrealistic funding
  • Limited community participation in implementing the NAIPs

Unless these areas are adequately addressed, the NAIPs will likely fail in their potential to promote agriculture-led development and the livelihoods of smallholders in these countries and elsewhere in Africa.

Download our report Putting small-scale farming first




Watch our documentary Achieving food security in Africa


Watch our CAADP TV Spot to raise awareness on CAADP among African small scale farmers



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