BUILDING SELF-RELIANCE AND TRANSFORMING AFRICAS AGRICULTURE TOWARDS THE REALISATION OF AGENDA 2063
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture H.E Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime gave a briefing on building self-reliance towards the realization of the 2063 agenda on food and nutrition and the theme of the summit: transforming Africa's agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The commissioner pointed out that Africa's economies experienced strong growth of more than five percent year on average over the last decade also that agriculture growth also picked up, even if it's at a slower pace of four percent which falls short of the six percent targeted in Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). She added that, with the adoption of CAADP frame work in 2003 the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has been instrumental in helping bring up agriculture on the national, regional and international policy agenda.
According to Commissioner Tumusiime, the biggest problem that Africa faces today is the continents dependency on increasing imports to feed its fast growing population. Within the frame work of CAADP, national and regional compacts and investment plans strive to address major challenges for the transformation of African agriculture in the continent. These efforts, she explains, aim at building a bridge to link the poor African farmers whom the majority is women and smallholders with rapid urbanization and increasing demands for quality food and agricultural products. “These push for a comprehensive value chain approach to agriculture development which the focus is beyond the narrow confines of the farm stage to embrace the whole agrifood system including the agro industry and agribusiness stages that connect the farmer's with the market in order to increase the development of the agribusiness of the farmers and the market links”. She added.
Addressing some of the issues raised by the journalists, Mr. Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki, the CEO of NEPAD said Africa is capable of not only meeting its own food needs but also to be a significant part of the response to the global challenge of feeding an increasing world population. He said, Africa's agriculture must undergo a transformation of structure this means a bold shift in policy sustainable investment in infrastructure, institution and technology to overcome the challenges Africa's agriculture groups have like low productivity and low competitiveness in this sectors.