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The Challenge

After several decades of declining investment in agriculture and the recent crisis caused by high food prices, policymakers and investors are paying renewed attention to agriculture and food security. Interest is strong in developing countries, especially in Africa, where production has not kept pace with the rapidly growing demand for agricultural products.

Although decision makers recognize that appropriate policies and adequate public spending are critical for closing this gap, evidence to support decision making is often limited in Africa.

MAFAP's contribution

Building a unique system for monitoring national food and agriculture policies

MAFAP produces a common set of indicators that can be used to measure the impact of policies on different commodities,countries and over time.

Meeting the needs of policy makers and donors who seek solid evidence about the impact of policies

Using comparable quantitative indicators makes it easier to understand the impact of policies.

Focusing on country ownership to make it sustainable

MAFAP is unique in its focus on country ownership and partnerships to establish a sustainable policy monitoring system. It collaborates closely with national institutions to develop capacity and make policy monitoring an integral part of their regular work.

Assessing the impact of national policies and how they compare with similar policies in other countries

Having common quantitative indicators increases transparency and makes it possible to compare policies across countries. Having objective results empowers people affected by policies, and farmers in particular, in their interaction with governments and donors.

Strengthening ongoing policy processes and initiatives

MAFAP builds on existing efforts at the regional level such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). For example, it provides feedback on how well countries are fulfilling their "CAADP compacts" and if they are meeting CAADP targets for public expenditure in agriculture. This information feeds into policy dialogue at the regional level. 

How MAFAP information is used

The system provides regularly updated analyses to African governments seeking to:

  • improve policy frameworks for producers and consumers;
  • prioritize investments to increase agricultural production and improve farmers’ incomes and food security;
  • better target the share of the national budget devoted to agriculture and rural development; and
  • more effectively allocate the agricultural budget’s resources.

Development partners can use this information to:

  • improve policy advice; and
  • identify investment opportunities that will have a positive impact on agricultural sector performance.
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