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IPS Examines Agricultural Funding In Africa

Inter Press Service examines how some African countries are benefiting from the global agriculture fund the G8 pledged $22 billion to in July 2009.  According to the article, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which seeks to increase African spending on agriculture to foster more growth, “has received a major boost as several countries have begun drawing” on the G8 money.

“The World Bank is administering the funds. The United States, Spain, South Korea and Canada as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are the development partners that have contributed towards the finances. … The countries that have accessed the funds so far are Togo, Sierra Leone and Rwanda. Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi are all expected to also benefit from the fund after they successfully submit their investment plan by the end of September,” IPS writes. To collect funds, countries must design a national investment plan that includes cost estimates and must sign a CAADP compact, according to Nalishebo Meebelo, the country CAADP process facilitator at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The CAADP is built on four principles: sustainable land and water management, trade and marketing infrastructure expansion, food security build-up, and new technology research and adoption, according to Mbeki Ndlovu, a researcher at the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in South Africa. “FANRPAN, a network of researchers, farmers and governments presently covering 14 Southern African countries, is coordinating the implementation of the programme at the national and regional levels in the sub-region,” IPS notes.

Many African countries are integrating their agricultural programs with the CAADP, Ndlovu said. “However, there’s need to complement national level priority interventions with priority regional investment programmes,” he added. COMESA also works to implement major infrastructure, trade and agriculture programs so that they are complicit with continent-wide plans, Ndlovu said.

The article also includes quotes from the Director of Malawi’s Livestock Department. The country signed the CAADP agreement (Ngozo, 9/1).