By Judith Akolo
The African Union Commission (AUC) is urging member states to embrace the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and the Malabo Declaration on Agriculture Transformation to be able to deal effectively with food security challenges on the continent.
The CAADP coordinator at the African Union Commission Komla Bissi said concerted efforts aimed at having “agriculture at the center of discussions” is bearing fruit.
He however called for synergy among various ministries of governments to aid in ensuring success of the subsector.
Speaking in Accra, Ghana Komla said the decision to have Agriculture Permanent Secretaries in Africa meet was to help countries have a better understanding of the National Agriculture Investment Plans (NAIP) and to help countries learn from best practices in implementing the Malabo Declaration
Speaking at the same meeting, Senior Programs Officer at Nepad Co-ordination Agency Unami Mpofu said involvement of women and the youth will give the agriculture sector the much needed impetus for growth.
Mpofu urged member states to ensure inclusivity in agriculture growth and increase the involvement of youth and women in agriculture
“We can only succeed if we break the silo mentality and instead have everybody on board to drive the agriculture transformation agenda,” said Mpofu and added, “We are saying women and the youth ought to be on board so as to progress as a team.”
The Malabo Declaration on agriculture transformation is laying emphasis on countries to ensure they allocate at 10% of their national budget to agriculture.
The AUC believes that growth in agriculture will aid in reducing the high poverty levels which is a contributing factor to slow economic growth levels on the continent.
Nepad and the AUC want member states to work with the private sector to increase investments in agriculture.
The African Union says, growth in agriculture will aid in reducing the high poverty levels and stunting which is a contributing factor to slow economic growth levels on the continent.
Food shortage in Africa is mainly caused by poor rains and the over dependence on rain fed agriculture resulting into poor or failed harvests which in turn result into food scarcity and high prices of the available food.