The report that has shown improvements in agriculture activities across Africa has documented a decade of intense domestic attention to farmers and food production that has generated successful development effort in African history to transform agriculture.
According to Agness Kalibata president of AGRA, only those countries that have followed the Marabo declaration to pump up 10% of the national budget to agriculture activities have reaped the benefits and Malawi is among them.
Ten years after its establishment AGRA has registered agricultural transformation in African countries claiming a 6% growth every year; the president of AGRA told the Agriculture Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) that has brought together 1500 high-level officials in agriculture sector from African region in Kenya.
According to the report countries that embraced the African union’s Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) when it was launched in 2003 are the ones making good progress.
Thomas Jayne a Professor of agricultural, food and resource economics at Michigan State University and co-author of the report noted that Africa still has a potential to grow agriculture faster if the leadership sticks to the declarations made in the CAADP implementation.
“Despite this transformation in agriculture in some countries, Africa still has challenges that need to be addressed in order to start realizing the full benefits of agriculture that constitute over 70% of African economies,” observed Jayne.
He mentioned some of the problems like the rapid population growth that is making food inadequate in some communities, the growing number of youth population that stays idle and cannot join agriculture because of lacking guidance.
The professor also bemoaned the soil degradation in most parts of Africa that needs more attention from farmers.
“Another heartening challenge for African agriculture is the rising cost of land which is making farm land to be scarce to the indigenous people of Africa. This need to be addressed immediately otherwise the owners of the land in Africa will remain poor,” warned Jayne.
Coming to achievements in Malawi Member of Parliament for Salima central Felix Jumbe who is a delegate to the forum said the achievements Malawi has made over the years covered by the report is enormous.
Jumbe who is also board chair for Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) said Malawi has managed to transform its agriculture sector despite the natural disasters.
“You know Malawi has managed to put aside 14% of its national budget to agricultural activities and the fruits started to trickle down to rural farmers when irrigation programs were scaled out to them. If it were not for the floods and dry spells, Malawi could have been among the countries that have done much better in improving agriculture as recorded in the 2016 report,” explained Jumbe.
The agriculture entrepreneur continued to say that government is doing a good job in the ASWAP programs were farmers are encouraged to use modern technologies to yield more.
The African agriculture status report has been launched at the African green revolution forum that is being held in Nairobi Kenya from 5th to 9th September under the theme ‘seize the moment ; securing Africa’s rise through agricultural transformation.’