Africa on the way to realising 4.4pc growth in agriculture
By Judith Akolo
Africa is on the way to realising the 4.4 per cent growth in Agriculture per annum as envisaged in the formation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) in 2003 by African heads of state in Maputo, Mozambique.
The Commissioner for Agriculture at the African Union Rhoda Peace Tumusiime said the last 10 years have registered some progress, but it is not adequate.
“We have a paradox in which whereas we talk about growth in agriculture, we still remain the continent with the largest number of people suffering food shortage and malnutrition,” said Tumusiime at the opening of the two days technical meeting of officials drawn from the Ministries of agriculture, rural development, fisheries and aquaculture from the African Union member states.
The technical teams are meeting ahead of the ministerial conference slated to begin on Wednesday.
While noting that agriculture and the rural sector are at the centre of transformative agriculture in Africa, Tumusiime noted that the transformative agenda can only succeed if challenges associated with modernising African agriculture are addressed.
“For agriculture to become more productive and competitive,” she said. Tumusiime said value addition to agricultural produce is key to feeding the ever increasing African population.
She said African agriculture is under threat from environmental degradation and urged that while agriculture grows, the factors that impede high productivity due to climate change ought to be addressed.
She noted that for the agricultural sector to continue feeding the rising urban sector, “small scale farmers must be allowed to play their rightful role within the chain of domestic and regional markets.
The June 2014 AU Summit slated for Equatorial Guinea is expected to adopt a declaration on “Africa’s Accelerated Growth and Transformation Goals to be achieved by 2025