| ARC/02/2 |
TWENTY-SECOND REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA
CAIRO, EGYPT, 4-8 FEBRUARY 2002
REPORT ON FAO ACTIVITIES IN THE REGION
II. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TWENTY-FIRST REGIONAL CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS
III. REPORT ON IMPLEMENTED AND ON-GOING PROGRAMME OF WORK 2000-2001
a. Natural Resources
d. Agricultural Support Systems
e. Research and Technology
f. Rural Development
g. Women in Agricultural and Rural Development
h. Food and Agricultural Information, Monitoring and Analysis
i. Food and Nutrition
j. Food and Agricultural Policy
m. Co-operation with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Farmers Organisations (FOs)
IV. FAO SPECIAL PROGRAMMES
V. FUTURE PROGRAMME ORIENTATION TO FACE PRIORITY ISSUES IN THE REGION
1. The FAO report on the State of Food and Agriculture 2001 notes, with concern hat in 1999, and for the third consecutive year, overall agricultural production failed to keep pace with population growth rate (currently 2.5 percent per year). In per capita terms, agricultural production in Africa continues to stagnate, with levels for agriculture, cereals and food items in 2000 being virtually identical to those attained in 1990. This disturbing situation in many countries results from lack of political will, weak commitments, poor governance as well as structural, institutional and legal impediments to growth of agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
2. However, renewed optimism about the prospect for development in Africa arising from the new vision of African Leaders embodied in the New African Initiative adopted by the 37th Assembly of the OAU Head of State and Government, generates hope for Africa's economic revival. Against this background FAO continued to provide technical assistance to member countries, focusing on food security, poverty reduction and sustainable use of natural resources. To achieve the expected results, FAO has maintained active programme of activities in natural resource management, agro-based and food industries; animal health and production; agricultural research and technology; agrarian reforms and rural development; women in development; marketing and credit policies; food quality control and nutrition; agricultural information and early warning systems; agricultural policy; statistical development; fisheries and aquaculture; and forestry.
3. The Twenty-first Regional Conference recommended that:
The following briefs summarise the actions taken on these recommendations.
4. FAO continued to provide a multifaceted technical assistance to many member countries in drought prone areas for water resource development, utilisation, conservation and management in different eco-systems with particular emphasis on the dry-land areas. Countries in humid areas have also benefited from this assistance under the framework of the FAO Special Programme for Food Security.
5. FAO has organised workshops for East, Southern, Central and West Africa under the forest resource assessment programme to strengthen the capacity of national and regional institutions. Other activities carried out include studies on bush meat and other known forest products that contribute to food security and human health; workshops on forest genetic resources in West Sahelian and Southern Africa and collaboration with UNEP and other partners in sustainable forest management. The Africa Forestry Outlook Study has been carried out in all the countries. In collaboration with national and international partners the status of forest genetic resources in the humid zone of Central Africa was reviewed leading to a workshop on forest genetic resources to be organised in collaboration with African Timber Organisation (ATO) for Central Africa in 2002.
6. Through its partnership programme with the EC, FAO has implemented two important regional forestry projects on Forestry Data Collection and Analysis in the ACP Countries and Sustainable forestry development in African ACP countries.
7. The 1999 Africa Regional Aquaculture Review, organised by FAO, elaborated a strategy for aquaculture development in the Region based on lessons learned from past experiences. This strategy was the template employed by RAFI over the 2000/2001 period to assist governments in adopting efficiency-improving measures leading to the subsequent increase in aquaculture production. This strategy served as the basis for approved and pipeline Technical Cooperation Programmes in Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar and Cote d'Ivoire that have developed as models from which the rest of the region can benefit.
8. Information and capacity-building workshops were organised in Yaounde Cameroon, and Dakar, Senegal on the Uruguay round and its implications for international trade in forest products. Other workshops on the WTO Agreement on Agriculture affecting crops, livestock and forest products were organised in Dakar.
9. During the biennium 2000-2001, assistance was provided to national institutions for studies related to soil erosion control and soil management in Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
10. Within the framework of the Soil Correlation Committee, a Sub-regional Workshop on the Utilisation of the World Reference Base for Soil Resources was held in the Republic of Benin, with the participation of 30 experts. In collaboration with the OAU/STRC, the 4th Session of the Inter-African Experts' Committee on African Soils was held in Ghana.
11. In collaboration with the World Bank, FAO promoted the development of private irrigation through Agencies established in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, whilst studies are under way in Benin, Guinea and Zimbabwe.
12. Studies on safe peri-urban and urban irrigation were undertaken in Accra, Conakry and Cotonou and related activities continued in Zimbabwe. An assessment of integrated irrigation and aquaculture was carried out in 6 countries of West Africa, namely, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal.
13. An international workshop on implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in West Africa and the 1st meeting of the Network for Integrated Management of International River, Lake and Hydro-geological Basins were held in Accra, Ghana. FAO was involved in the characterisation and sustainable development of wetlands in West and Central Africa and a programme is being established in Eastern and Southern Africa.
14. To facilitate the promotion of small holder irrigation development, priority was given to building the national capacity in planning, design and implementation of small holder irrigation schemes through specialised training courses in crop water requirements, localised and sprinkler irrigation.
15. A feasibility study on private sector irrigation services was also prepared and presented at the Harare Water for Food Seminar, which was jointly organised by FAO, SADC, World Bank, IFAD, and ADF. In support of the SPFS, tests and dissemination of information on treadle pumps were undertaken to facilitate the local manufacture of these pumps in several countries of the sub-region.
16. FAO is also implementing a multidisciplinary programme on "Learning to Live with Drought" to raise agricultural productivity on a sustainable basis in drought-prone areas of Southern Africa.
17. Project formulation missions were undertaken in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Niger under SPPD and also for a regional project for Integrated Crop Management for Irrigated Rice, which covers Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. In collaboration with WARDA, a Manual on Integrated Crop Management for Irrigated Rice in the Sahel was prepared. Country pasture resource profiles have also been prepared for 8 African countries.
18. Application of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for sustainable crop production was strongly promoted and supported in many countries. Discussions were initiated with UNEP-GEF in Nairobi on the possibility of developing a multi-country, farmer-led pesticide monitoring initiative, focusing on water pollution due to contaminated run-off in Senegal and Mali.
19. A survey and inventory of obsolete pesticides in Ghana was conducted and two issues of a specialist Newsletter on Pesticide Management in West Africa, were published and widely circulated.
20. FAO continued to work with the Desert Locust Control Commissions for West and North-West Africa and to assist with monitoring activities through CLCPANO, particularly in Mauritania and the 2000-2001 action programme. EMPRES/Criquet Pèlerin en Région Occidentale, programme was also launched during a planning workshop held in Mauritania in February 2001.
21. Production of a Briefing Guide on the application of biotechnology for agricultural production was initiated to provide administrators and policy makers with information on vital issues relating to plant molecular biotechnology in Africa. The Briefing Guide will facilitate informed decision-making for the importation of genetically modified crops, foods and food ingredients, sensitize administrators and policy makers on the importance of adopting proactive policies in dealing with the rapid global changes taking place in agriculture, marketing and distribution. It will and draw attention to the potential benefits and risks of using Plant Molecular Biotechnology and its products.
22. Following the decision of the African Heads of State and Government at the 36th Ordinary Session of the OAU Summit, held in Togo in July 2000, to adopt the proposal for the Eradication of Tsetse Flies from the African continent, FAO was actively involved in the preparation of a concept note on the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC).
23. Within the Livestock Diseases Vision of EMPRES, FAO activities focus on promoting the effective containment and control of the most serious livestock epidemics as well as newly-emerging diseases through international co-operation involving Early Warning, Early/Rapid Reaction, Enabling Research and Co-operation. In collaboration with OAU/IBAR, FAO participated in the Pan African Control of Epizootics (PACE), recently launched as a successor programme to the Pan African Rinderpest Campaign (PARC).
24. FAO support to the SPFS pilot phase in Kano State, Nigeria demonstrated that women could be effectively integrated into this kind of project, provided that special considerations are given to their learning styles and specific food processing needs.
25. FAO actively participated in Regional and Global networks of Universities and Schools of Agriculture to improve agricultural educational and training programmes as well as formal and non-formal educational networks through curriculum development and South-South and North-South exchanges.
26. Efforts have been initiated to promote conservation agriculture technologies in Africa through the elimination of soil inversion practices, direct planting, crop rotations and permanent soil cover. TCP projects promoting conservation agriculture and supporting the Soil Fertility Initiative were established in Eritrea and Kenya.
27. FAO provided support to several projects in Zambia (marketing, rural finance and agribusiness training), Tanzania (livestock and small stock marketing), South Africa (marketing extension), Eritrea (horticulture marketing), Mozambique (grain marketing and marketing liberalisation) and Namibia.
28. Three Micro-Banking installations were provided to 3 financial institutions in Africa and technical support provided for a further 10 installations. A better version for Windows in French has been developed in collaboration with GTZ This will accommodate the data and reporting requirements of regional Central Banks. Support to rural finance projects has also been provided in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Niger and Zambia.
29. Support was given to farming systems development in the form of country review studies on extension, data systems, peri-urban agriculture and stakeholder appraisal of participatory programmes. Training modules for book keeping and accounting, within the framework of farmer field schools, have been developed.
30. FAO continued to support National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in their capacity-building efforts, particularly with regard to improving their relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. In this regard assistance was provided in agricultural research policy and planning, organization and management, technology assessment and transfer and linkages to international research.
31. Through the Integrated Support to Sustainable Development and Food Security Programme (IP) the Organization provided assistance in the development and implementation of policies and strategies for research, technology development, assessment and transfer for sustainable development and food security. Assistance was also provided in the integration of agricultural education, research and extension into the Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems for Rural Development (AKIS/RD).
32. FAO actively participated in meetings organised by sub-regional organisations such as the Association for Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA), the Southern African Centre for Agricultural Research (SACCAR), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) and the Special Program for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR). FAO continues to support the establishment of the new Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), successor to SPAAR.
33. FAO initiated the development of "Community-based Technology Transfer Centres (CTTCs) in Support of Food Production in Africa" to develop multi-institutional approaches to enhance small-scale farmers' and National NGOs' access to new and innovative agricultural technologies.
34. FAO supported strengthening of farmers' groups and other community organisations to enhance their partnership in the development process, through the establishment of an information exchange network entitled RASAD, Réseau Africain pour la Sécurité Alimentaire Durable (African Network for Sustainable Food Security). National Chapters are operational in Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
35. FAO continued to support the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Africa (CIRDAFRICA), which is going through a period of technical, managerial and financial problems. In March 2001, the 9th Extraordinary Session of its Governing Council recommended that CIRDAFRICA should continue and an agreement was reached in principle with the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take over the role of host country for the Centre.
36. Technical assistance was provided to help Malawi, Namibia and Uganda implement land reforms. Two regional studies have been carried out to examine women's land rights and urban/peri-urban land tenure in relation to urban agriculture. In addition, a study on fast track resettlement in Zimbabwe was conducted and a TCP project on capacity building in land administration in Uganda and Zimbabwe is currently under implementation. Collaboration with donors, namely DFID, DANIDA, SIDA, USAID, NORAD, JICA, The World Bank, and SADC, was initiated to establish the Regional Land Reform Fund and other activities on land reform.
37. A Rural Youth and Food Security Programme was developed in Ghana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to provide policy advice and development support to rural youth programmes empowering large numbers of young people to become active partners in reaching national food security goals
38. FAO's activities focused attention on analysis of the impact of HIV/AIDS on agricultural production, knowledge and production systems and food security. Technical backstopping to projects in Ghana and Namibia was undertaken to assist in capacity building of Extension systems and analysis of the impact on communal and commercial farming enterprises.
39. Following the recommendations of the Yaounde Declaration on Food Security and Agricultural Development, FAO continued to reinforce its Women in Agricultural Development programmes in the wider context of socio-economic and gender relations in society and reinforcing gender mainstreaming at various levels. Support included
40. As a follow-up to the World Food Summit, FAO continued to provide direct support to national FIVIMS activities in the Comoro Islands, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi and Namibia. Support in strengthening early warning and food security information systems (including environmental monitoring and support to market information), is being provided to Angola, Eritrea and Mozambique. The same support is being extended to the SADC Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Sector Development Unit and the IGAD Secretariat.
41. With the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System in Food and Agriculture (GIEWS), the food security situation is being monitored in Member States I the Horn, East and Southern Africa. FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions have been undertaken.
42. Assistance is provided in agricultural statistics through field projects, direct assistance and training, in addition to FIVIMS and GIEWS. A major undertaking is the FAO/WB/USDA Initiative in agricultural statistics for Africa. In addition, the Seventeenth Session of the African Commission on Agricultural Statistics was held in Pretoria, South Africa, in November 2001.
43. In an effort to help African countries improve the reliability, coverage and comparability of agricultural statistics, the FAO held to two regional meetings. The first meeting was organized in South Africa in cooperation with the University of Pretoria, in March 2001, and the second in Côte d'Ivoire with the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d'Economie Appliquée, in October 2001. Furthermore, in cooperation with the World Bank, FAO organised the Workshop on Strengthening Food and Agricultural Statistics in Africa in Support of Food Security and Poverty Reduction Policies and Programmes, in Pretoria, South Africa in November 2001.
44. FAO continued to provide technical assistance to member countries in the organisation and management of food control services and for strengthening or establishment of specific components of the food control system. The major activities carried out in the region included:
45. Activities in food and agricultural policy in 2000/2001, were guided by FAO's strategic goal aimed at helping African countries to improve their food security and to reduce poverty in a broad-based, gender-sensitive manner, whilst preserving and improving their natural resource base. More specifically:
46. The main fisheries-related activities undertaken by FAO in Africa included:
47. The 12th session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC), and the 13th session of the Working Party on the Management of Resources and Protected Areas were successfully held in Lusaka, Zambia.
48. As part of its contribution towards the implementation of the Yaounde Declaration, FAO collaborated with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), in launching a review study to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the NFP Basic Principles and Operational Guidelines retained in the national forestry programme (NFP) of 9 Central African countries.
49. FAO initiated a survey on the impact of Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 in Africa and implementation of IPF/IFF recommendations to contribute towards the UNEP-UNECA/ OAU/AFDB overall assessment of the impact of Agenda 21 in Africa and to the preparation of the African Position Paper for the 2002 Earth Summit in South Africa.
50. In the context of the FAO-EC Partnership Programme, FAO implemented activities on forestry research, fiscal studies, wood energy and national forest programmes for the project on Sustainable Forest Management in African ACP Countries.
51. Collaboration with ADB, UNEP, sub-regional organisations and other organisations were strengthened and the Forestry Outlook Study for Africa (FOSA), remained an important FAO core activity in Africa.
52. In collaboration with Ghana Forestry Commission and the Community Forestry Unit (FONP), FAO organised the Third Consultative Meeting of the Working Group on the Participatory Package for Natural Resources Management, in Accra, Ghana in June 2000.
53. TCP projects initiated since the last session, include: forest revenue strengthening in Zambia; business viability of commercial forest plantations in Zambia; institutional strengthening in Liberia; forest management in Cameroon, forestry and food security in Burkina Faso.
54. FAO provided assistance to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with project formulations in Ghana, Eritrea and Malawi. Activities started in the propagation and dissemination of indigenous fruit trees in dry areas of East and Southern Africa. TCP projects were prepared for fruit trees in Namibia, forest plantations in Angola and community plantations in South Africa.
55. Nine important forestry and wildlife publications were produced and widely distributed to member countries and international development partners.
56. During the biennium FAO activities aimed at implementing the Plan of Action formulated by the FAO/NGOs Consultation to implement the FAO Policy for Co-operation with NGOs/CSOs, issued at the end of 1999. The main areas of intervention recommended include : information sharing and analysis; policy dialogue; participation of NGOs/CSOs in FAO Field Programmes; and joint FAO-NGOS/CSOS resource mobilisation.
57. FAO assisted Guinea-Bissau to formulate a proposal for a study on the role of NGOs/CSOs in national development.
58. A joint FAO/IRED proposal for capacity building targeted to small scale NGOs/CSOs from SADC countries has been formulated with FAO technical assistance.
59. Emergency interventions in outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal were made and a TCP project for similar intervention was implemented for West African countries.
60. Regional Reference and Training Laboratories for African Swine Fever (ASF) were developed in Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal to handle laboratory technicians training.
61. Prevention and Control activities in regard to Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) were implemented in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. A Regional TCP project has been developed to address this disease problem in Burkina, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.
62. EMPRES continued to provide support for :
63. TCDC Activities supported by FAO in Africa have been successfully implemented. Furthermore, FAO followed up the implementation of the trilateral co-operation among African countries, other developing countries and FAO, in accordance with the provisions of the South-South Co-operation Initiative. Countries involved so far include India, China, Cuba, Vietnam and Egypt. As at September 2001, 22 agreements had been signed while a further 17 agreements are in advanced stages of preparation.
64. Special Programme for Food Security. The Special Programme for Food Security, SPFS, was launched to assist LIFDC's to rapidly increase food production and productivity on a sustainable basis, reduce the year-to-year variability of production improve access to food as a contribution to equity and poverty alleviation. By September 2001, SPFS was operational in 38 African countries. Major activities covered water control, crop intensification, diversification on small animals and fisheries and constraints analysis. During the reporting period, SPFS activities were extensively expanded, for example, projects became operational in 42 sites in Burkina Faso, 70 sites in Niger while constraints analysis was completed in 50 sites in Senegal. Examples of farmers benefiting from SPFS projects are 6600 (900 women) in Burkina Faso, over 4000 in Eritrea, and 302 (255 women) in Senegal. Low cost irrigation techniques were introduced through the supply of various types of pumps and intensive training in Zambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Malawi as well as in many other African countries with relevant impact on food security. Through crop intensification, rice yields in Mauritania increased significantly from 4.5 to 6 tons/ha. In Tanzania, farmers interest and self reliance were fostered by encouraging results in poultry and goat production. Aquaculture and fish farming were introduced and 46 members of Participatory Farmer Groups were trained in fish farming. Furthermore, a network of small private input suppliers and 73 saving and credit associations have been created by the SPFS programme in Tanzania. Implementation of the SPFS continue to be carried out within the framework of the South-South Cooperation and has involved about 2000 experts and technicians from several countries.
65. Food and agriculture production in Africa during the last two years did not show any significant improvements. The major reasons for this poor performance include minimal changes on national agricultural policies, structural and institutional bottlenecks, poor agricultural incentives, significant decline in the application of technology in agricultural production, inefficient distribution and management of inputs and the degradation of the natural resource base.
66. Hopefully, the new sense of urgency and purpose embodied in the New Africa Initiative will be translated into concrete actions in order to reverse this situation and to place African economies on an accelerated growth path towards improving national food security, reduce poverty and to position Africa as a credible partner in world development.
67. Despite the renewed commitments by member states during the World Food Summit to tackle poverty reduction, hunger and malnutrition, and to allocate at least 25% of their human and financial resources to agriculture and rural development, the share of public resources allocated to agriculture still rarely exceeds 10%.
68. Member States in West and Central Africa have placed a high priority on food security, poverty reduction, sustainable development, management of natural resources and diversification of agricultural products.
69. Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: Many African countries are involved in the formulation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, which is a requirement for eligibility under the HIPC initiative. Because agriculture is central to the economic and social development of African countries, agricultural development should feature prominently in the PRSP. This offers opportunities for FAO to assist member countries in the formulate and implement PRSPs.
70. Food Security Action Plan addresses each of the major components that define food security, namely food supply, access to food and diversification of food products. The food supply component aims to increase food output, improve trade in food products and enhance temporal and spatial stability of food supply, building on the achievements of activities of the Special Programme for Food Security.
71. Natural Resource Management: Critical issues in natural resource management include conservation, reclamation, development and utilisation of natural resources. FAO will continue to provide technical assistance to Member Countries to develop and implement projects and programmes addressing conservation of fragile eco-systems, reclamation of degraded eco-systems, and sustainable use and management of natural resources.
72. Diversification of Products is central to food security, income generation and to trade. FAO will provide technical assistance to Member Countries to formulate and implement projects and programmes to promote diversification and processing food and export crops, livestock, aquaculture and fishery products.
73. Crosscutting Themes: Cross cutting issues such as capacity building, equity, gender, HIV/AIDS, technology generation and transfer and rural finance and credit market issues will also be considered at each programme and project levels.
74. Rehabilitation-cum-Development Activities: For countries emerging from civil strife, FAO will provide technical assistance for rapid rehabilitation of agriculture and other economic activities as a pre-requisite for promoting peace, stability and national harmony through improvement of household food security and generation of income all of which have been affected by the crisis.
75. FAO will continue to provide technical assistance to promote regional food security and contribute to the creation of African Food Market and Basic Products. Assistance will focus attention on the mobilisation of resources to implement regional food security plans of action. For the successful operation of the African Common Market for Basic Food Products, FAO will assist Member Countries to undertake major reviews of their economic policies, institutional arrangements and legal frameworks to promote trade in food products among African countries.
76. In collaboration with national officials, development partners, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, farmers' associations, and other related agriculture-based professional associations, FAO professional staff of the Regional and Sub-regional Offices, will quantify sectoral objectives and determine appropriate technical, institutional and policy interventions.
Specific activities proposed for the 2002 - 2003 biennium include:
77. Activities in sustainable field crop production and related cropping systems, intensive grassland and folder production, and integrated production and pest management (IPPM) farmers' field schools training methodology, will be expanded.
78. Rural-based, small-scale agro-processing industries, which generate income and alleviate women's burdens, will be promoted in the framework of the world-wide programme on the promotion of Integrated Production System.
79. FAO will assist member states to adopt participatory management of natural forests and development of non-wood products, including wildlife resources, in order to contribute to food security in Africa. Support will continue in the follow-up to UNCED in forestry, especially with regard to the implementation of IPF recommendations.
80. In the Fisheries sector, action will continue to be taken to raise current levels of consumption. The main focus will be to promote greater participation of the African member states in the fishing industry in the region through improving the management and conservation of fisheries resources, strengthening of regional fisheries management institutions, establishing effective monitoring, control and surveillance systems; developing environmentally-sound aquaculture; reducing post-harvest losses through improvements of fish handling practices and processing techniques; and promoting intra-regional fish trade.
81. Food security, poverty reduction and sustainable use of natural resources will continue to be the major thrusts of FAO's work in Africa in the foreseeable future. In the next biennium, attention will be focused at the policy level, on assisting FAO Member countries to:
82. At the field programme level, assistance to Member States will concentrate on helping them to: