CAADP at 10: Progress Toward Agricultural Prosperity
On December 14, the Brookings Institution and TransFarm Africa organized a workshop titled “CAADP at 10: Progress Towards Agricultural Prosperity” in Washington D.C. The event gathered about 30 participants from donors, development partners, universities, think tanks and private sectors, aiming to provide a policy dialogue about the progress of CAADP in the past decade, current challenges, and recommendations as the program approaches its 2015 deadline for achieving its commitments.
The workshop reported on the Joint Ministerial Conference of Agriculture and Trade (JMCAT), which was held by AUC on 25 – 30 November in Addis Ababa. CAADP is all about transformation in the current changing global environment, especially considering climate change and global food market changes. To sustain the growth, Africa has to get more of the private sector involved, especially civil societies and farmer institutions, and to give more emphasis farming as business to make agriculture “sexy”. There would be three measurable outcomes to achieve: 1) increasing productivity for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction; 2) competitiveness built on well-functioning agricultural input and output markets; and 3) regional and global integration for scaling up and strengthening Africa’s capacity.
The participants discussed about the achievements of Africa under the CAADP agenda in the past 10 years: African leaders have recognized the important role that agriculture plays in Africa’s economic development and made commitments to agricultural growth and investment; many countries have developed their investment plans with country-specific priorities in agriculture; and Africa has mobilized partnerships for agricultural investment at all levels from both private and public sectors.
The engagement of private sector is one of the key issues being discussed at the workshop. As the largest investor in agriculture in low- and middle–income countries (read our blog about FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture 2012 Report), smallholder farmers are the driving force of agricultural transformation that must be put at the center of African governments’ development strategy. How to catalyze private investment more effectively, and at what level, will remain a challenge. Ensuring a conducive policy and regulatory framework would be crucial in shaping opportunities for increased investment and growth.
The Conference Summary is distributed by Africa Growth Initiative, which will also be shared with the Ministers of agriculture and trade of CAADP countries, in early 2013.