Stakeholders express optimism over improved agricultural financing
Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have expressed optimism as the third Biennial Review of the African Union Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development was being awaited.
They said Nigeria and other African countries would benefit tremendously, if the implementation of Malabo 2014 declarations are done.
Maputo and Malabo summits of 2003 and 2014 respectively, endorsed by the African Heads of States, drafted a seven-point agenda which included an allocation of 10 per cent of their national annual budgets to the agriculture sector.
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However, the focus was to support at least six per cent growth rate for the sector as encapsulated in the CAADP framework to improve food security, nutrition, and increase incomes in Africa’s largely farming-based economies with emphasis on the seven thematic areas.
According to Constance Okeke, International Project Manager for Scaling up Investments in Agriculture, ActionAid Nigeria, BR-3 launch was an accountability process instituted to help measure the progress of CAADP implementation in all the African countries.
She disclosed this during a two-day Pre-BR3 Launch with the theme, ‘Strengthening Accountability and Utilisation Biennial Preview Results – Countdown to BR3 Launch’.
Okeke said, “Every two years, a review is done to see how the programme is being implemented and countries’ data are submitted to the African economic regional economic communities who in turn submits to the African Union.
“They are analysed and prepared as a form of report to Heads of States during their summit at the beginning of the year.
“This is the third Biennial Review. It started in 2017 with the first report released in 2018 summit and the second BR for 2019 was submitted at the African Heads of States summit in 2020.
“The idea of having this event is to join forces and resources to ensure that one of the primary key stakeholders in agricultural development, which is the Mmedia, is at the forefront of these issues.
“We expect the media to go out there to tell the world and the continent why it is important that we should focus on agricultural transformation.”
Commenting on achievements of the previous Biennial Reviews, Okeke noted that there were successes, while harping the need for improvement.
She said, “For example, African Heads of States agreed that they would commit 10 per cent of their annual national budgets to agriculture but we know that most countries are not doing that.
“Nigeria is working towards achieving results and from what we saw, they have made huge progress from the first BR to the second BR. We are also hoping that the third BR will be better.
“We want more investments in agriculture, better policies, participatory processes, joint stakeholders review of programmes and policies so that we can be on the same page and everybody can move at the same pace.”