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CAADP participants identify key challenges, priorities

Participants at the 8th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s Partnership Platform Meeting (CAADP PP) in Nairobi have identified some key challenges that may impede the full implementation of the CAADP agenda.

The challenges include inadequate financial support, translating political commitment into concrete actions, capacity building and lack of policy coordination.

“In moving CAADP agenda forward, these challenges must be tackled. It is necessary to have high level political support for the agenda, without which the goal will not be achieved,’’ said Mr. Godfrey Bahiga, who spoke as leader of the break-out group on Leadership, Ownership and Accountability,

’’There is also the need to ensure that all stakeholders are carried along and the strengthening of the agriculture sector,” he said.

Mr. Bahiga also identified factors that limit CADDP implementation to include uneven political commitment, inadequate mechanism and strategies to attract private sector investments and limited mutual exchange opportunities of knowledge sharing.

The participants also identified some priorities areas and recommended actions that need to be pursued, such as strengthening of non-state actors engagement in the CAADP process, strengthening mutual accountability and strengthening inter-ministerial collaboration.

Some of the recommendations stressed the need to embark on a more aggressive sensitization of CAADP programme, development of a data base for improved communication strategies that embraces modern technological tools, document and dissemination of success stories in countries that have made headway, dissemination of CAADP information in the AU official languages and beyond, as well as development of a communication materials targeting different audiences.

On attracting investment financing for agriculture, the participants underscored the need to attract private sector investors rather than relying much on foreign donors, the need for commercial banks to accord priority to small holders’ farmers with a separate template for giving out loans and the need to put necessary infrastructure in place.

“Policy should be dynamic, but in Africa it is sometimes static, outdated, not robust and contradictory,’’ said Selina Sannu, who made a presentation for Policy Reform and Institutional Transformation group.

’’There are huge gaps between policy formulation, harmonization and implementation due to institutional weakness. There is also lack of clear and adequate consultation framework to guide civil society organizations involvement. This makes the civil society more observers than active players in policy formulation,” Sannu said.

She said subsidizing of farmers with seeds in Malawi and credit system for small farmers in Cote d’Ivoire are some of the success stories that need to be replicated in other countries.

Speaking on Emerging Issues, Trends and Themes, the participants observed that the threats of climate change, changing donor behaviour, transparency, accountability and rule of law, cannot be ignored.

They stressed the need to develop effective mitigation, adaptation and risk management strategies, and support the adoption and enforcement of appropriate policies by the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

Over 200 participants, including agriculture experts, researchers, policy makers, civil society, development partners, farmers’ groups and media from within Africa and beyond are attending the two-day event with the theme, ”Accelerating CAADP implementation for results and impact.”

CAADP was established in 2003 as part of the AU’s NEPAD programme and as Africa’s response to the various challenges facing agriculture in the continent.

Source : PANA SB/SEG 4May2012

Crédits: AK-Project