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August 5, 2013

Dear Readers,

We have moved our ReSAKSS blog to a new place. This one will be archived. Please visit our new blog.

Thank you,


Capacity Needs Assessment Studies Continue

May 30, 2013

Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) studies are being completed in the five of the six countries which were initially planned to complete CNA studies by April 2013. These countries include Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi. Meanwhile Benin, Ethiopia and Tanzania have completed their CNA studies before the August 2013 deadline set and first drafts of the report have been revised and comments sent to the national consultants. Besides, validation workshops were held by Ghana and Togo in April this year. These two countries plus Benin have gone on to the next step of developing capacity strengthening strategies based on the findings of the CNAs. For Uganda which has ToR in place for consultants, the CNA is still underway. CNA studies which have not yet been launched in DRC and Burkina Faso due to unforeseen circumstances are expected to start soon as the persons to coordinate the work and the tools are in place.

Launching of SAKSS platforms by June is on track for Togo and Ghana, which as indicated above have their CNA reports validated in stakeholder workshop and their respective capacity strengthening strategies also completed. In the other four countries whose launching of SAKSS platform was planned for June 2013, the drafting and adoption of capacity building strategies which is taking more time is expected to create delay in the establishment of SAKSS platform. As nearly all countries have completed the CNAs, it is expected that ReSAKSS would finalize setting up of country SAKSS in 12 countries by December this year. On the other hand, for countries where CNA has not yet started such as Cameroon as a result of delay in response from the country, alternative planning is in place to undertake the CNA study in March 2014.

The update is prepared by Samson Jemaneh, Research Officer at IFPRI Eastern and Southern Africa Office (ESARO).

What are the key African food policy developments in 2012?

March 28, 2013

GlobalFoodPolicyReport_tnThe 2012 Global Food Policy Report, IFPRI’s flagship report, provides perspectives of the major policy developments that Africa undertook in 2012 to improve food security and resilience as well as recommendation on how Africa’s youth can make transformative impact on the economic development of the continent.

Building Resilience in Joint Efforts

Learned from the past lessons, West Africa made serious commitments to building the region’s resilience to crises. Under the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative in the Sahel (AGIR) and a Food Crisis Prevention and Management Charter in West Africa that both adopted in 2012, a regional emergency food reserve of 0.4 million metric tons was established in West Africa. A resilience framework is developed to evaluate and monitor vulnerability indicators. Countries in the region have committed to more free regional trade in food products. And an intervention mechanism Food Crisis Prevention Network was revamped in 2012 to address the new challenges.

Other parts of Africa also made remarkable efforts. For example, the Global Alliance for Action for Drought Resilience and Growth was launched in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel in April 2012. Ethiopia established an Agricultural Transformation Agency; at the same time Nigeria established an Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Not to mention that thirty African countries and ECOWAS had signed a CAADP compact, twenty six of which have developed national agricultural and food security investment plans.

International development partners were not lagging behind either. The G8 launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in its 2012 summits.  More than 45 private companies from Africa and the world have promised to invest over 3 billion US dollars in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania, the first three countries covered under the Alliance. A total of 16 million US dollars had been awarded by G8 countries to 11 African countries in 2012 to fulfill their L’Aquila promises.

Africa should see results from all the progress. However, eliminating the chronic vulnerability of food security requires more long-term, sustainable policy actions. The 2011 ReSAKSS Report also shows that future agricultural growth will depend on technical changes and more investment in agricultural research and development, the 2012 Global Food Policy Report suggests that it is key to continue commitments to CAADP investment plan, encourage more open trade, and improve public expenditure management to improve the agricultural productivity.

Source: S. Benin, A. Nin-Pratt, S. Wood, and Z. Guo, Trends and Spatial Patterns in Agricultural Productivity in Africa: 1961–2010, ReSAKSS Annual Trends and Outlook Report 2011 (Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2012).

Source: S. Benin, A. Nin-Pratt, S. Wood, and Z. Guo, Trends and Spatial Patterns in Agricultural Productivity in Africa: 1961–2010, ReSAKSS Annual Trends and Outlook Report 2011 (Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2012).

Inclusion of the Youth

Looking at the global picture that draws high food prices and high demand for agricultural products globally and regionally, Africa, the fastest-growing continent in the world, is destined to take off on its own path. The farming sector provides Africa more potential to create jobs for its growing young workers and accelerate the economic growth than non-farming sectors such as manufacture or services could. Recognizing agriculture as the growth driver and job creator is not enough. So much more remains to be done, including making agriculture more profitable, providing access to financial services, improving security of land tenure, and educating its youth with advanced skills and knowledge. Only if African leaders tackle these challenges will they reach their full potential.

>> Read the full 2012 Global Food Policy Report

Utilizing policy for agricultural growth

March 11, 2013

pictureWhile public investment in agriculture is essential for increasing agricultural growth in Africa, it must be complemented by good policy in order to be effective and efficient. A new IFPRI discussion paper examines a variety of agricultural policies that have been implemented in Africa south of the Sahara and identifies which have been most effective in stimulating agricultural growth.

Historically, the agriculture sector in Africa has suffered from inefficient market interventions, volatile food prices, and severe underinvestment. A variety of policies have been implemented in order to improve agricultural productivity, encourage private-sector investment, stabilize food prices, and secure property rights. In this context, CAADP has played an important role in laying the institutional framework to promote evidence-based, inclusive, and improved policymaking. It represents an unrivaled consensus of key values and priorities for the achievement of poverty reduction and food security through agricultural growth.

The authors identify three areas where CAADP has been particularly effective in improving the quality of policymaking in Africa:

African Ownership: first, CAADP fosters the development of local leadership at all stages of the implementation process. Active participation by multiple government ministries, as well as donor commitment to the support of government leadership, has fostered local ownership of policy formulation.

Inclusive Dialogue: second, CAADP promotes inclusive dialogue and participation from a variety of stakeholders in the review and assessment of CAADP implementation strategies. For example, the annual CAADP Partnership Platform engages governments, development partners, and the private sector to review CAADP progress and identify areas for improvement.

Evidence-based Decision Making: third, CAADP has provided a platform for accessible data, tools, and analysis to guide policies and evaluate performance. CAADP roundtable processes have increased the credibility of the agricultural agenda in national governments by producing high-quality strategy documents. ReSAKSS and SAKSS nodes have helped fill knowledge gaps, build local capacity, and disseminate relevant data and analysis for formulating country investment plans and benchmarking progress.

As governments move towards the CAADP goal of a higher budget allocation to agriculture, investment efficiency must be increased as well in order to achieve higher agricultural growth and poverty reduction. The CAADP framework provides a platform through which efficient investments can be achieved through more effective policies.

Seychelles commits to accelerating CAADP implementation

March 8, 2013

caadp_logoThe government of Seychelles has tentatively set August 2013 as the date for its CAADP Business Meeting. Since signing the CAADP compact in September 2011, Seychelles has made considerable progress in CAADP implementation. According to the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry, Peter Sinon, accomplishments include the initial drafting of the Seychelles Food Security Policy and preliminary work on the Agricultural Development Strategy document and the National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (NAIP). Currently, the government is drafting the Medium Term National Development Strategy for 2013-2017, which will include CAADP priorities and programs.

Out of the 19 member states of COMESA, 6 countries have held their CAADP business meetings, including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Malawi (see the latest update from the CAADP website). Prior to the meeting in August, the NAIP of Seychelles is expected to be finalized and reviewed so it will be ready for implementation after the meeting.

Although tourism is the largest contributor to the Seychelles’ economy, agriculture remains important for local markets and to ensure food security. Agriculture GDP growth in Seychelles has been relatively high in recent years at 6 percent in 2007 and 2008 and 5 percent in 2009. The percentage of the national budget allocated to agriculture has been consistently low at less than 1 percent since 2004.

For more information, visit the COMESA website or the ReSAKSS website

Tanzania aims to reach CAADP 10% agriculture expenditure target by 2015

March 8, 2013

While few countries have yet to meet the CAADP target of 10 percent national budget allocation to agriculture, trends show that there has been some progress towards higher public investment in agriculture. Countries have faced difficulties in maintaining a consistent amount of agricultural funding, with the budget sometimes fluctuating widely between years. One such country is Tanzania, where agricultural spending was as low as 2.5 percent of the national budget in 2008. However, this past week, the country expressed an increased commitment to reaching CAADP targets.

From February 25 to March 1, East and Central Africa held a regional workshop on CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development aimed at incorporating nutrition into the CAADP framework and agenda (See our blog about the workshop). At the opening of the workshop, Eng Christopher Chiza, Minister for Agriculture, Food Security, and Cooperatives in Tanzania, announced that Tanzania expects to allocate 10 percent of its national budget to agriculture by 2015. According to Chiza, the increase from Tanzania’s current allocation of 7 percent will be used both to increase agricultural production and to enhance the nutrition of agricultural products. Thus, investment in agriculture will not only be increased but also targeted to ensure that the problem of malnutrition is being addressed.

Source: IFPRI Discussion Paper 01242

Source: IFPRI Discussion Paper 01242

Countries that have consistently achieved the CAADP 10% agriculture expenditure target include Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, and Senegal (See IFPRI Discussion Paper).
For more information, visit the ReSAKSS website and CAADP website , or this article

Building Capacity to Address Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages through CAADP

March 4, 2013

This year, the second and third CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development workshops are scheduled to take place in Tanzania from February 25 to March 1 and in South Africa in June/July 2013. The regional workshops, the first of which took place in Senegal in November 2011, are aimed at incorporating nutrition into CAADP National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans.

Malnutrition continues to be an obstacle for economic growth and human well-being in many African countries. Despite a high level of commitment, many countries in Africa are not on track to achieve the nutrition-related Millennium development goals by 2015, such as halving child nutrition, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health. An IFPRI Policy Note highlights some of the factors which inhibit the reduction of malnutrition, mainly due to a lack of political commitment. Although the importance of nutrition for economic and social development is widely recognized on a global scale, few of the national policies of individual countries reflect it as a high priority. Inadequate funding, a lack of qualified personnel to inform nutrition policy, poor recognition by decision-makers of malnutrition as a public health problem, and limited engagement of civil society groups in nutrition advocacy are all challenges in making nutrition a high national priority. Furthermore, the cross-sectoral nature of nutrition with linkages to health, agriculture, education, infrastructure, and social development complicates planning processes. Another report indicates that nutrition is not prioritized because policymakers view it as an outcome from, rather than an input into, human development.

The IFPRI 2020 conference in India and the subsequent book that was published illustrate the linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Integrating value for nutrition into the food supply chain, breeding new varieties of food crops with improved nutritional content, introducing regulations to reduce the health risks involved with agricultural production, and providing incentives for intersectoral collaboration are all opportunities to improve the agriculture-nutrition linkages.

The CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development workshops aim to address these challenges by formally integrating nutrition into CAADP framework and implementation as well as facilitating coordination among sectors. CAADP, as a continent-wide initiative aimed at guiding investments and policy formulation, provides a unique opportunity to raise the political status of nutrition across Africa. The workshops will produce country briefs summarizing the status of nutrition in each country as well as country roadmaps that outline action plans that countries will implement to address nutrition gaps. The steering committee will ensure that all actions are acted upon.

For more information on the CAADP Nutrition Capacity Development workshops, click here.