Posts Tagged ‘CAADP’

Apr25

Leading Food Policy Organization Issues 2011 Global Food Policy Report

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By Laura Reynolds

In its first annual Global Food Policy Report, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reflected on the major policy developments of 2011. The report analyzed the year’s food policy progress made and setbacks encountered at the global, regional, national, and local levels.

IFPRI's new report highlights the increased role agriculture and food security has on national and international decision-making. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

The report focused on seven areas of change, both positive and negative, in the agriculture system over the last year. These include rising food price levels and volatility, natural and human-caused disasters, biofuels policy changes, land management changes, new players entering the food-system reform debate, new commitments to addressing climate change, and an increased recognition of the links between agriculture and nutrition, health, water, and energy.

One reason for optimism highlighted in the report is the increased role agriculture and food security has on national and international decision-making. “After many years of neglect, agriculture and food security are back on the development and political agendas,” according to the report. It pointed out that some 20 African countries, as part of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), have adopted national agricultural and food security investment plans, in which they will devote 10 percent of their national budget to agriculture.

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Oct18

Gleanings from Des Moines: Investing in Rural Infrastructure

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Because the World Food Prize conference brings together a motley crew of organizations doing all sorts of on-the-ground, advocacy, research and other work to eliminate hunger and poverty, the conference halls over flow with signage, literature, videos and even product samples. The ONE Campaign is wedged next to the Syngenta Foundation; the Iowa food rescue network is next to the International Rice Research Institute. I picked up a packet of MANA, a Plumpy’nut like ready-to-use-therapeutic food to treat severely malnourished children. I also picked up a copy of the IFPRI report by Director General Shenggen Fan on meeting the first Millennium Development Goal: halving hunger worldwide by 2015.

MANA, a Plumpy' nut-like ready-to-use-therapeutic food to treat severely malnourished children.

Here are some gleanings from the data- and example-rich report:

“Research in Africa and Asia has shown that investments in agricultural research and extension have large impacts on agricultural productivity and poverty, and investments in rural infrastructure can bring even
greater benefits.”

“In Uganda, for every additional million shillings (about US$920) invested in agricultural research in 1999, 58 people were lifted out of poverty. In Ethiopia, one agricultural extension visit reduced poverty
by 9.8 percentage points and increased consumption growth by more than 7 percentage points.”

“In 2003, African heads of state pledged that their governments would allocate 10 percent of national public budgets to the agricultural sector by 2008, but data for 2007 show that only a handful of countries
had met the 10 percent target.”

In order to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger by 2015, the number of hungry people needs to fall by roughly 73 million people each year until 2015. For reference, a drop of this magnitude has not happened ever in the last few decades.

Agriculture Expenditures Fan, Omilola, and Lambert (2009) (Click photo enlarge)

The report highlights the need for “new actors in global development” including the private sector, philanthropic organizations and emerging economy donors–that is, efforts from the very countries and neighbors of countries where hunger is most widespread. Among the examples of these sorts of new collaborations are “the Business Alliance against Chronic Hunger, a public-private partnership in Africa that pursues market-based solutions to reduce hunger by strengthening food value chains and empowering the poor; in Kenya, where the Business Alliance launched its first pilot program, more than 30 private companies have become members and have committed to action.”

“Another public-private partnership is the West Africa Seed Alliance, which aims to establish a sustainable commercial seed industry to ensure that smallholder farmers have affordable, timely, and reliable access to
high-quality seeds.”

“Overall aid from China to Africa was estimated to have almost quadrupled from US$684 million in 2001 to US$2.5 billion in 2009…Chinese aid to African agriculture has experimented with new methods of combining aid with economic cooperation, including joint ventures, cooperation contracts, and public-private partnerships.”

“Governments in Africa have recently adopted promising Africa-owned and Africa-led development initiatives through the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP). Eighteen countries have already signed their CAADP compacts, which align national agricultural sector policies, strategies, and investment programs with CAADP principles, pillars, and targets.”

Watch this video of IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan as he discusses the need for ‘Business as Unusual’.

Sep08

Fighting Two Battles with One Dialogue

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By Amanda Stone

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer for FANRPAN in Pretoria, South Africa (Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)

Last week Namibia hosted the 2010 FANRPAN (Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network) Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue, bringing together over 200 African and global policymakers, farmers, agricultural product dealers, scientists, and non-governmental organizations. The purpose of the conference was to address African priorities on food security and climate change and how agricultural development, natural resource management and rural livelihoods will be affected.  An annual regional food security policy discussion, this year’s particular focus was on livestock and fisheries policies in the face of climate change.

During the Dialogue the President of Namibia, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, was awarded the 2010 FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award for his creation of responsible fisheries policies in the country. In Namibia, the fishing industry has grown to be the second biggest export earner of income and has produced 14,000 new jobs in a population of 1.7 million people, supporting not just individuals’ livelihoods but also their communities.

While the fisheries and livestock sectors are now being recognized as a new means for entering markets and generating wealth, they are also the most at risk in the face of climate change. For the 200 million Africans who rely on livestock for their livelihoods (plus the 70 percent of rural poor who keep livestock) and the 10 million Africans dependent on work in fisheries, climate change has serious implications. As climate patterns change so does the spatial distribution of agro-ecological zones and habitats, distribution patters of plant diseases and pests, fish populations and ocean circulation patterns, in addition to the potential for extreme weather events such as drought. All of these factors can have significant impacts on agriculture and food production. Thus the growth of these sectors requires research and collaboration, investments of time, technology, policies and knowledge networks that address these risks.

Africa’s history of underinvestment in agriculture is being addressed by the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).  Agricultural policies and programs dedicated to supporting farmers, according to a July 2010 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, have the potential to create a more secure food supply in the future across Africa, but the effort must be regionally integrated.  FANRPAN, a network of researchers, farmers and governments working in 14 Southern African countries, is helping the coordination and implementation of these programs at national and regional levels.

Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive of FANRPAN, said, “FANRPAN was set up to create a food-secure Africa which can feed itself. To do this, success stories must be understood, replicated and scaled up.” In order to better facilitate regional program replication, coordination and implementation FANRPAN is expanding its network across the continent. At the conference the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was announced as the 14th member of the FANRPAN Network. Through this new DRC affiliate FANRPAN will be able to work with government agencies, farmers, researchers, civil society organizations and the media which, according to Dr Sibanda, “will be vital in FANRPAN’s continued success to create conducive policy environments for Africa’s farmers.”

To read about Nourishing the Planet’s visit with FANRPAN in South Africa see: FANRPAN: Working to connect farmers, researchers, and policy makers in Africa, Acting It Out for Advocacy, and Innovative Ways of Hearing Farmers’ Voices.

Amanda Stone is the Communications Assistant for Nourishing the Planet.

Apr28

FANRPAN: Working to connect farmers, researchers, and policy makers in Africa

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This is the first in a three-part series about the Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network.

Danielle Nierenberg with Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO of FANRPAN, and FANRPAN staff outside their office in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo: Bernard Pollack)

The Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) lives up to its name by linking farmers,  businesses, academia, researchers, donors, and national and regional governments. “One thing that we {Africa} fail to do is form coalitions for a common cause,” says Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, the CEO of FANRPAN. But by connecting rural farmers directly to the private sector, to policy-makers, and to the agricultural research community, they’re trying to build a food secure Africa.

FANRPAN’s has national nodes in thirteen countries that help bring its members together, with a national secretariat hosted by an existing national institution in each country that has a mandate for increasing agricultural research and advocacy.

Another problem that plagues Africa, according to Dr. Sibanda, is that “we don’t know how to learn from the local.”  But she says “farmers know what to do” when it comes to dealing with climate change and other issues that impact agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, FANRPAN works to create dialogue and allow exchange of ideas directly between farmers in the field, researchers in laboratories, and policy makers in conference rooms and parliaments throughout Africa.

FANRPAN’s projects include everything from helping improve access to markets for women farmers through its Women Accessing Realigned Markets (WARM) project to helping develop and strengthen the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Regional Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Compact (See In Eastern and Southern Africa, Improving Trade and Identifying Investment Opportunities and Creating Game Plans for Investment and Policy to Improve Food Security.) They also recently completed the Africa-Wide Civil Society Climate Change Initiative for Policy Dialogues that brought together African NGOs and farmers groups at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change last December. And the Strategies for Adapting to Climate Change in Rural sub-Saharan Africa, to help the most vulnerable populations deal with climate change.

And while Dr. Sibanda says investment in research is important, “it’s not the panacea. For me, it’s about people driving investments.”

Stay tuned for more about FANRPAN’s projects later this week.

Mar16

Creating Game Plans for Investment and Policy to Improve Food Security

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Danielle Nierenberg (right) with Jan Nijhoff, Coordinator, COMESA, Michigan State University. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

Danielle Nierenberg (right) with Jan Nijhoff, Coordinator with COMESA and Michigan State University. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

This is the second in a two-part series about my visit with Jan Nijhoff, who works with the Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (COMESA) and Michigan State University in Lusaka, Zambia.

According to Jan Nijhoff, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) “was born” as a result of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—the list of broad targets that the United Nations hopes developing nations will achieve by 2015. Nijhoff, who coordinates a project between Michigan State University and countries in eastern and southern Africa to promote regional trade, says CAADP was a response by COMESA (the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) to develop a program to “solve” the problems outlined in the MDGs.

The initiative is focused especially on MDG #1, the goal of halving both the number of people who earn less than a dollar a day and the number of hungry people worldwide by 2015.

CAADP works on four main pillars or programs: extending the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems; improving rural infrastructure and trade-related capacities for market access; increasing food supply, reducing hunger, and improving responses to food emergency crises; and improving agriculture research and technology dissemination and adoption.

But achieving these goals (and MDG #1) will require increasing agricultural growth across Africa by 6 percent per year, according to CAADP. To do that, African governments will need to spend 10 percent of their annual budgets on agricultural development—up from only around 5 percent currently.

The “beauty of the CAADP approach,” Nijhoff says, “is that it holds governments accountable” through agreements, or compacts, that they develop with COMESA. These compacts, which outline extensive government actions, can help countries achieve greater agricultural growth while also protecting the environment. Essentially, Nijhoff says, they are “game plans” that specify where a country needs to spend its resources, where donors and the private sector can play a role, and what policies need to be in place before an investment can happen. They can include actions like building more roads to reduce transport costs for farmers and other businesses.

COMESA has also launched a regional compact initiative with FANRPAN (which I’ll be writing about in future blogs) and other partners to identify interventions that are already common among member states, as well as activities that can have a regional impact.

By focusing on national and regional economic development, and by showing donors where to spend their money, both COMESA and CAADP hope to increase food security, improve livelihoods, and achieve the MDGs for millions of people in eastern and southern Africa. And although skeptics of the program claim that it’s “donor pushed,” Nijhoff says it should be viewed as “African led” because agriculture and trade ministers are working in collaboration with CAADP to develop policies.

What do you think?