Johannesburg, South Africa, 1-5 March 2004


Table of Contents


1. African Heads of State and Government have adopted the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as an overall framework for achieving their vision for Africa’s self-reliant development. NEPAD objectives include eradication of poverty, sustainable economic development, and exit from economic marginalisation; accordingly Africa’s leaders have set an ambitious target of seven percent of annual growth rate in GDP over the next 20 years. In agriculture, NEPAD seeks to achieve food security and build the foundations of prosperity for the majority of its poor people, who depend on agriculture for food security as well as economic opportunities. The vision for agriculture is that the continent should, by 2015:

2. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) is the NEPAD programme for agriculture, it promotes interventions that best respond to the widely recognized crisis situation of African agriculture. The Plan has been prepared at the request of the NEPAD Steering Committee by the NEPAD Secretariat in close cooperation with FAO. With a view to addressing the crisis situation facing African agriculture, it deliberately focuses on investment into the following three mutually reinforcing “pillars” that can make the earliest difference to Africa: (i) extending the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems; (ii) improving rural infrastructure and trade-related capacities for improved market access; and (iii) increasing food supply and reducing hunger. The document also includes a long-term “pillar” on research and technology adoption, this being considered an essential underpinning for productivity gains Africa so greatly needs.

3. During the June 2003 meeting of African Union Ministers of Agriculture held in Maputo, Mozambique, attention was drawn to the need to also focus on the sub-sectors of livestock, forestry and fisheries in the NEPAD CAADP. The Chairman of NEPAD Steering Committee subsequently requested FAO to cooperate in preparing these elements for inclusion. Action was taken to prepare (initially) three separate documents on forestry, fisheries, and livestock and later to assemble them into a prospective companion volume to the existing CAADP. The new document, which will undergo extensive review and consultative analysis, is to be ready in time for presentation for endorsement by the next Summit of African Union Heads of State in July 2004. The opportunity has been taken to also include in it elements on Environmental Sustainability of Agriculture.

4. The present draft synthesis document has been prepared using as background material initial drafts of the sub-sector chapters, including environmental sustainability, which are still undergoing review by different institutions and individuals. Revision of these subsector chapters is in progress, incorporating, as they are received, comments from the various institutions and individuals. The revision will also benefit from comments received from the Africa Forestry and Wildlife Commission meeting (Accra, 16-21 February 2004), the FAO Regional Conference for Africa (Johannesburg, 1-5 March 2003), the NEP{ADS Steering Committee), and other fora and gatherings, with the final companion document to be ready by end-June 2004.


2.1 The Current State of Forests and Forestry

5. Natural forests and woodlands: Most countries, especially in Central, Southern and West Africa, have large tracts of natural forests and woodlands. Low incomes have meant direct dependence on fuelwood for energy and on extensive farming, requiring clearance of large expanses of forests and woodlands for farming. Hunting and demand for pasture have encouraged use of fire. A combination of these pressures has led to rapid and by now extensive deforestation, facilitated by weakness of institutional capacity to enforce forest laws. In well-endowed and accessible forests, there has been rapid expansion of logging, especially by investors guided by short-term profit motives. Between 1990 and 2000, Africa lost about 53 million hectares of forests out of a total of 650 million hectares. Though some attempts are under way to introduce reduced-impact logging, they are still in the very early stages.

6. Planted forests: Africa has about eight million hectares of forest plantations and the annual planting rate is about 0.2 million hectares. The objectives of plantation establishment include production of industrial round wood, wood fuel and non-wood forest products. Also planting has been undertaken to enhance environmental benefits, especially for protection of watersheds and controlling desertification. Establishment of shelter belts and wind breaks is a common practice in many countries to reduce the adverse effects of dry winds on agricultural productivity.

7. Tree resources outside forests: Trees outside forests are found on homesteads, under mixed cropping systems, including agro-forestry, in woodlots and on communal land. Many cash-crop systems also support trees, originally grown as shade for the main crop, but eventually becoming an important source of wood.

8. Africa’s round wood production increased from 340 million m3 in 1980 to 699 million m3 in 2000. A distinctive feature of wood production in Africa is the low level of processing, as about 90% of all round wood is used as wood fuel. Notwithstanding policies aimed at increasing the value added of local wood processing, a significant proportion of timber is still exported unprocessed.

9. Industrial wood production in Africa currently accounts for about ten percent of total round wood production. Considerable variation exists among the different sub-regions, reflecting differences in ecological conditions, demands and processing capacities. Both North and East Africa are deficit sub-regions, while in the case of West Africa the relatively high production is more or less balanced by the high population. Southern Africa and Central Africa are the major surplus producers, the former on account of its extensive plantations and the latter primarily dependent on logging its natural forests. The differences in production give an indication of the potential for increasing intraregional trade. Much of the present trade consists of low-value-added items, and there are concerns about the long-term sustainability of these, especially since the proportion of wood obtained from sustainably managed areas is very limited.

10. A key feature of the African forest sector is the overall neglect of value addition. Only about 10 percent of the round wood is subjected to any industrial processing and of this 25 percent is used as sawn wood. At the regional level, sawn wood consumption in Africa is substantially greater than production. Between 1980 and 2000 the production of panel products has increased substantially, largely owing to the expansion of production in West and Southern Africa.

11. Wood fuel is the major source of energy for most of the rural households. The predominance of wood and other biomass as a source of energy primarily stems from: (a) its low cost making it accessible to low income consumers, and (b) its wider availability in comparison with other sources of energy. Rapid urbanization is expected to increase the demand for wood as a source of energy, especially on account of the increased use of charcoal.

12. Non-wood forest products (NWFP): NWFPs include a range of products, such as gums and resins, honey and beeswax, medicinal and aromatic plants, dying and tanning materials, bamboo and rattan, bush-meat and fodder. In addition to the large number of non-wood forest products that contribute to subsistence living, several of them have been commercialized and generate substantial income for countries. Gum Arabic, rattan, cashew nuts, wattle, shear butter and cork are some items that have a long history of trade.

13. Wildlife is a very important natural resource of Africa, with considerable potential for contributing to rural development through employment and income from tourism, and as a source of food, especially bush-meat. Several countries, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa, have taken advantage of the rich wildlife resource to promote tourism. Establishment of protected areas (especially national parks and sanctuaries) has been an important approach to conservation.

14. Watershed management: The role of forests in watershed protection and in arresting land degradation is particularly significant especially in the uplands of East and Southern Africa and in arid areas in all the sub-regions. Watershed degradation is affecting agriculture in most of the major river basins. Intensification of agriculture requires measures to protect watersheds and arrest land degradation.

15. Arresting desertification: In controlling desertification and land degradation, the traditional approach of conserving original tree cover in cultivated landscapes has resulted in the development of agro forestry parklands, especially in West Africa. Windbreaks and shelterbelts have been used to stabilize shifting sand dunes and reduce the effects of dry winds on agricultural crops. Food security, especially in the Horn of Africa, will depend in part on how trees are integrated into the farming system and whether people have access to forest and tree resources during periods of drought and famine. In many traditional communities, the role of trees and forests in protecting the environment is well understood. This needs to be supported and nurtured.

16. Forests and biodiversity conservation: Almost all African countries are signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, the capacity of most countries to protect and manage their rich biodiversity remains limited. The key problems concerning biodiversity conservation include: (i) the inability to integrate the concept of biodiversity conservation into all economic activities, especially land use and (ii) the focusing of most biodiversity conservation efforts on protected areas, to a large extent ignoring the vast remainder.

2.2 Forestry and the CAADP

17. Within the overall vision of NEPAD, forestry aims to maximise the contribution of forests and trees to the economic, social and environmental well-being of the African people taking into account the multiplicity of forest functions.

18. Considering the present and anticipated economic situation, especially giving due attention to the millennium development goals and the need to mainstream sustainability considerations, African forest sector would aim to accomplish the following:

19. Broadly, the strategy to realize the above objectives could be grouped into the following:

A brief outline of the nature of efforts under each of the above priority areas is indicated below.

2.3 Areas for Intervention and Resource Requirements

20. One of the main thrusts for forestry under NEPAD would be to strengthen the policy and legal framework that impact the forest sector directly and indirectly. Primarily this component would aim at:

21. Although many countries have revised forest policies and brought about changes in legislation, in the absence of supporting efforts to strengthen the institutional framework, these policies and legislation remain ineffective. The main thrust of improving the institutional framework will include the following:

22. Based on a strong participatory and decentralized approach, Africa would direct attention at sustainably enhancing the production of goods and services from forests and trees. Specifically this would involve:

23. This component would primarily focus on improving the state of technology and creating additional capacities to meet future domestic and external demand for forest products. It would also focus on upgrading existing technology to make forest products more competitive. Specific attention would be given to:

24. By 2015, NEPAD will seek to have achieved considerable progress in tapping opportunities for value addition, with the proportion of raw products in the region’s exports brought down significantly. Considering the range of products and processes and the rapidly changing technology, it is difficult to provide a realistic estimate of the resource requirements for the creation of new capacity for forest industries and to enhance the efficiency of existing ones. The table below provides a general indication of the total resource requirements to accomplish the targets indicated above:

Total estimated cost of the forestry component
(In US$ millions)

Programme/ Activity

Short term

Medium term
(2006 – 2010)

Long term
(2010 -2015)

(2004 – 2015)

Average annual costs

Policy and legal reforms and improved land use planning






Institutional strengthening (including public sector forestry agencies, private sector and community organizations)






Sustainable production of wood and non-wood forest products and services from forests and farms






Infrastructure and other complementary investments including industrial development












25. The average annual resource requirements are estimated at about US$ 3.9 billion, or about US$ 6 per hectare of forest. In 1999, government expenditure (including external funds) in the forestry sector in 24 African countries accounting for a forest area of about 343 million hectares is estimated at US$ 282 million. Assuming the same level of spending in the remaining countries, the estimated current annual public expenditure on forestry in Africa is about US$ 533 million.

26. No estimates are available on the expenditure on forestry by the corporate sector, other private investors, non-governmental organizations, farmers and local communities. In several countries especially in Southern, Central and West Africa where the private sector plays an important role in the management of plantations and forest concessions, logging and industrial processing, private sector investment could be significant. Similarly in several countries farmers have made considerable investment in tree growing. Assuming the private sector/farmers expenditures averages the level spent by the government; the total annual expenditure would stand at approximately US$ 1 billion. This would suggest that the level of additional annual resource outlay required will be approximately in the order of US$ 2.9 billion. Taking public and private funding together, it appears that the fulfilment of NEPAD expectations would call for over four-fold increase in annual investment.

27. This additional investment could be met from (a) governments, including external development assistance, (b) corporate sector and (c) farmers, local communities and non-governmental organizations. A provisional indication of this scenario is given in the table below:


Activity area

Estimated annual investment (in US$ million)

Public sector

Corporate sector

Local communities/ farmers


Policy and legislative changes





Institutional strengthening





Sustainable forest management to enhance supply of goods and services





Investment in forest industries and other infrastructure










28. Most of the public sector investment will focus on bringing about policy and institutional changes and strengthening the institutional framework, thereby creating the necessary conditions for the other actors to invest in sustainable management and in processing. Much of the investment in planted forests is expected to come from the corporate sector and to a limited extent from farmers and local communities. It is assumed that the upstream investment in policy reform and institutional strengthening would encourage investment by other actors. It is equally assumed that the public sector would help to fill gaps, especially with regard to the provision of environmental services and meeting social needs. In view of the diverse situations in the different countries, the resource requirements would vary considerably among the countries.


3.1 Fisheries in African Society and Economy

29. In Africa, fisheries1 are important as a source of livelihood, of food and of foreign exchange. During the 1990’s, the annual per caput consumption reached about 8 kg (live weight equivalent) contributing about 20% of the animal protein consumed. The value of net exports for the continent as a whole reached the equivalent of about US$ 1.7 billion2 in 2001, with countries of the European Union as the major trading partners. As a result, the net value of African exports of fish and fish products in that year exceeded the net foreign exchange income reported for African international trade in cocoa, coffee or any other agricultural commodity.

30. Rapid population growth and a sustained expansion of international trade in fish led to rapid expansion in demand for fish and resulted in a larger number of fishers. Higher African consumption was complemented by increased demand for fish in industrialized economies which resulted in a higher share of high-value African fish landings being exported. Simultaneously the continent increased its imports of lower value fish to satisfy the expanding domestic demand.

Africa - Food fish balance in live weight (million tons)






Total fish production





Non-food use















Total food fish supply





Per caput food fish supply (kg/year)






31. Marine capture fisheries contribute about two thirds of total African fish landings. Resources are more abundant in the Atlantic than in the Indian Ocean and more than 90% of marine fish landings occur on the West Coast. A significant portion (about 25 to 30% of fish captured in the oceans surrounding Africa, with the exception of the Mediterranean) is landed by vessels from non-African states and is not recorded as African fish landings. The right to exploit these stocks have been sold to interests outside the continent by several African governments.

32. Inland fisheries contribute about one third of landings – this is a higher share than recorded for most other continents. Particularly in East Africa, inland fisheries regularly contribute the lion’s share of fish consumed. Subsistence fisheries practiced in lakes but above all in small water bodies, swamps and rivers, provide much needed food and supplementary income for occasional fishermen and are generally conducted at an intensity that does not threaten the resources.

33. Aquaculture. Between 1990 and 2000, African aquaculture supply grew at a compound annual rate of 17%. In terms of volume, however, it remained at modest levels. In 1990, the output was estimated at 83 000 metric tonnes. In 2000, Africa produced about five times the volume produced a decade earlier, or 400 000 metric tonnes. Egypt alone accounted for 86% of Africa’s aquaculture supply, with Nigeria and Madagascar being also important.

34. Production systems cover the full range from capital and technology intensive to very extensive systems. The majority of fish growers are raising fish in earthen ponds relying on surface waters. Raceways, pen and other systems are also used, with cages slowly coming into more frequent use. This is the case in Lakes Kariba, Volta, Victoria, Cabora Bassa and Kainji. Some intensive recirculation systems are also used; nearly exclusively in urban areas and for growing species intended for overseas markets. Integrated aquaculture is gaining ground at the small-scale level. Integrated systems often involve animal husbandry or rice/fish. Raceways and other enclosed systems are used in some areas.

35. Most wild fish stocks (in both freshwater and in the oceans bordering the African continent) are exploited to their limit, and sometimes beyond. Priority must therefore be given to better management of the present fishing effort to avoid a rapid depletion of fish resources. It will also be necessary for African governments to progressively replace the non-African vessels fishing in African waters by African-owned vessels. This “africanization” process will need to be implemented in phases over the next decades to ensure an efficient utilization of scarce financial resources. A widespread need for a gradual improvement of vessels, gear and shore-based plants will become evident in African marine capture fisheries in the course of the next decade. Fishing ports and beach landing centres need to be expanded and improved. The funding for such an expansion and improvements, with very few exceptions, must come from the public purse, either directly or through loans from continental development banks.

36. In Africa, aquaculture as a specialized activity with a clear focus on trade and profit making is gradually appearing in the shape of small and large enterprises. Commercial farming of tropical shrimps is already established in Madagascar, Mozambique and Seychelles and is likely to spread elsewhere on the east coast of Africa and to other parts of the continent. Such developments will create locally important sources of employment. It is estimated that in Madagascar 1000 tonnes of shrimp production requires 400 to 500 person-years of employment including processing where mostly women are involved.

37. Current political and economic priorities and emphasis on the private sector for aquaculture development tend to underscore the desire for more commercially oriented aquaculture. The sector will probably develop rapidly if such a policy also promotes foreign direct investments. High value species are likely to dominate future production as investors are expected to target international markets. As entrepreneurs will strive to meet consumers’ tastes and preferences, there is a high likelihood that improved production technologies will be used.

38. Undoubtedly other forms of aquaculture will also become more common. The prevailing current pond-culture of tilapia is not labour intensive, but will probably spread as a part-time activity; it is a component in diversification, thereby reducing risks and increasing food security. Catfish farming is growing rapidly and is now in many areas more popular than tilapia culture. Commercial tilapia farms will also become more common. Cage culture is slightly more complex and labour intensive.

39. In ancillary industries the possibilities for expanding employment are limited. Boat builders and other providers of service to fishers will largely be limited to replacing investments and to servicing a stable pool of fishing industry assets. There is possibility of expanding employment in fish processing but this will require strong policy support in at least two areas: (i) increasing the share of processed products in present exports; and (ii) ensuring that a larger share of the catch of non-African fishers and fishing enterprises are landed and processed on the continent. Strategies for increasing the value added of African fish products will need to consider inter alia the role of: (i) vertical integration of fishing businesses; (ii) transportation facilities to key markets; (iii) improvement in product quality; and (iv) development of ‘ready-to-eat’ products for export markets.

3.2 The CAADP Pillars and Fisheries

40. The CAADP pillars for priority investment3 when applied to the fisheries sector may be presented as follows:

A NEPAD strategy for fisheries is presented under these headings below. What would appear to be the main focus of associated investments has been added.

41. Strategy:

42. Categories of investment:

43. There will also be need for investment in capital equipment for offshore fisheries, should Africa indeed seek to “ africanize” the fishing fleets exploiting its stocks; the cost of this has not been included in the estimates that follow.

44. Strategy

45. Categories of investment:

46. Strategy

47. Categories of investment:

48. Strategy

49. Categories of investment

3.3 Investment Needs

50. The African fisheries sector has a continuous need for replacing assets (vessels, shore based installations for fish and for vessels). In order to enhance the sub-sector’s contribution to the CAADP investments must go beyond those necessary to keep the status quo in production capability. However, these investments (both private and public) must be matched with the development of effective fisheries management.

51. A continuing development of marine capture fisheries will need investments. They are needed in harbours and fleets. A plausible scenario is to assume that African governments will aim for an increase in their marine capture fisheries of 1 million tonnes over 20 years; or an average of 50 000 tonnes per year. This increase would come about as African fisheries take over the fisheries now conducted by non-African fishers and fishing enterprises. Part of this increase would be obtained through fisheries conducted further offshore than what most artisanal fishers do today.

52. Information from Madagascar4 indicate that a modern tropical shrimp farm requires an investment of about US$ 4 500 per tonne of shrimps produced. Modern integrated pond farming of tilapia (in some cases with catfish) in commercial production units requires investments estimated at US$ 1 600 per tonne of fish produced; or about US$ 1.6 million per 1000 tonnes produced. An expansion of aquaculture production by 100 000 tonnes, assuming ten percent shrimp and the rest tilapia/catfish, would then result in an investment requirement of about US$ 189 million.

53. The above mentioned FAO harbour study indicates an investment of about US $ 1 million for a facility capable of freezing and storing 2 tonnes of fish a day (500 tonnes year at full operation). When extrapolated this gives a US$ 100 million investment in basic facilities needed to handle 50 000 tonnes of fish.

54. The table below indicates the estimated average yearly investment needs (in new production facilities) needed to reach the target, assuming a 50/50 split between aquaculture and capture fisheries. In production terms this means an average yearly increase, for Africa as a whole, of 50 000 metric tonnes from aquaculture and the same quantity from capture fisheries production, almost exclusively in marine waters.

Estimated annual investment needs for expanding African fish production
(US $ millions)

Area of investment

Capture fisheries











Culture systems








Capacity & Institutions








55. Over a 20 year-period the expansion investments might amount to close to US $ 10 to 12 billion. It can be expected that the annual pattern established in the table above will change; the needs for investments in “capacity and institutions” will fall, while the need for increased funding for vessels will increase as larger and more sophisticated fishing vessels will be needed.


4.1 Livestock in Agriculture and Rural Development

56. In Africa livestock production currently accounts for some 30% of the gross value of agricultural production. The livestock population is distributed unevenly across the continent. As indicated in the table below, East Africa has about half of all cattle and more than a third of all sheep. It also has over 40% of goats and 13% of poultry. The north accounts for 35% of all poultry, followed by the west (27%) and south (20%). For millions of Africans, especially in pastoral areas, livestock is the main source of livelihood.












































57. Pastoral systems are commonly located in arid and semi-arid zones inappropriate for cultivated crops, owing to limited rainfall and a length of growing period (LGP) range of less than 180 days. The species of choice is predominantly cattle, although sheep and goats are also kept. Nomadic and transhumant pastoralism is practiced where rainfall is less than 400 mm per year. Agro-pastoralists experience higher levels of rainfall, between 400 to 600 mm per annum, and engage in cropping activities as well as keeping livestock. There is high reliance on livestock for income and nutrition, although crops contribute to the household wealth.

58. Within mixed systems, rain fed agriculture tends to be the major household income earner. While this involves livestock to a varying degree, livestock is usually integral to the mechanical and economic importance of cropping patterns, both providing inputs and consuming outputs. Draught power, manure, and transportation rely heavily on livestock, and livestock in turn rely heavily on crops as a feed source. The features of highland systems are concentrated in East Africa, and are particularly suited to dairy production. The better soil quality, climate more suited to forage and grain production, lower concentration of tsetse flies, and higher carrying capacity for human-livestock habitation have allowed livestock systems to flourish.

59. The majority of dairy production systems are managed by smallholders, providing steady cash income for alternate inputs including education and health care, nutrition, and financial security. Smallholder dairy systems are most concentrated in the highlands of East Africa, but are generally found in peri-urban areas throughout Africa. Dairy cattle are typically managed with other farm crops, such as vegetables, grains, tea, and coffee.

60. Small ruminants are ranched in systems that tend to produce single species for meat, hides, wool, and milk. Ranches are commonest in the arid and semi-arid zones of East and Southern Africa, and less common in West and Central Africa. In contrast to much of sub-Saharan Africa, sheep production in North Africa has been commercialized owing to higher demand for improved breeds and feed subsidization policies leading to intensification of the sector.

61. Poultry production allows families the opportunity to add to household income with little financial outlay, leading to larger flocks and eventually other livestock production systems. A gradual build up in the commercial poultry sector in countries such as Nigeria and Egypt was dependent on imports of grain.

62. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the growth rate of cattle, sheep, and goats has been estimated at 1.4%, 2.5%, and 4.3% respectively, whereas the human population is growing at the rate of 2.6% per annum. The emerging indication is that livestock production is struggling to keep up with the demands of expanding populations. This trend is reflected in the rapidly declining net trade balance of livestock products for Africa, as imports continue to outpace exports in order to meet demand.

1.2 (1000 TONNES).





















Mutton/ goat





Pig Meat










Source: FAOSTAT, 2002.

63. Livestock is not seen solely as a source of income or nutrition, but also as an integral component to an agricultural system that relies on traction and other livestock inputs. Livestock also contributes significantly to the social capital of communities. Cattle and small ruminants figure prominently in pastoral and nomadic communities, positioned as instruments of social wealth and prestige in a variety of activities including marriage ceremonies, land transfers, coming of age rituals, and conflict resolutions.

64. For pastoral households, livestock provide several essential life giving functions. They provide nourishment and generate revenue through meat, milk, and blood; they allow one to meet social obligations for marriage and alliances; and are also a source of risk mitigation against drought, disease, and conflict. Livestock, the majority of which is cattle, accounts for 80% of mean farm cash income in parts of East Africa.

4.2 Constraints and Challenges for Livestock

65. Ruminant production statistics in traditional systems of sub-Saharan Africa generally indicate weak production. Average calf mortality rate is high (22%), calving rates are low (60%), and milk offtake per lactation is around 250 kg. Sheep and goats tend to be more fertile and prolific in SSA, but mortality is high in all age groups. Comparable production statistics for the non-traditional systems are considerably higher, suggesting there are significant benefits to be acquired through improved nutrition, management and health programmes. Similarly, offtake is lower in traditional systems than in improved or non-traditional systems.

66. If African livestock production is to keep pace with expanding human populations, it will need to increase at the rate of 2.6% per annum. Currently growth rates are well behind the envisaged percentage. As for cattle systems, small ruminant systems suffer from high mortality rates and low offtake rates. Lamb mortality rates across all systems range from 23% to 30%, and ewe mortality ranges from 7.5 to 14.3%. Milk offtake rates per lactation are low, averaging 250 kg in both pastoral and mixed systems.

67. Marketing has been cited as a great constraint to poultry production in many parts of Africa where scavenger chickens are raised. A lack of formal marketing channels and low use of processing has restricted much consumption to local informal markets. Disease has also been cited as a major constraint, especially Newcastle Disease. External parasites are also a disease constraint, while lack of routine or infrequent veterinary structures contributes to health problems.

68. Enhancing the contribution of livestock to sustainable growth while at the same time developing and implementing new approaches for poverty alleviation constitute one of the key challenges for the sub-sector. Closely related would be an increase in livestock production that would satisfy the growing domestic demand and an expansion of the inter-regional trade in livestock products to overcome regional deficits. Improving parameters for both meat and milk production in mixed systems which are slightly improved over pastoral systems but still far from acceptable, overcoming feed constraints, especially during the dry season, and reducing the incidence of disease would have a major impact on production.

69. Poultry meat and eggs are one of the lowest cost sources of animal protein, resulting in higher demand than for other animal protein sources in low income households. A strength of poultry production is its ability to address also gender issues. Scavenger chickens are typically raised and cared for by women, and women’s groups have been formed specifically to promote the raising of poultry. Increasing rural poultry production would have a positive impact on household food security through increased caloric and protein intake and through increased income generation.

70. Development of the livestock sector in Africa requires that one looks beyond the constraints on micro-enterprise at the farm level. It is important to think more about how society grows, how goals are set and met, and where livestock fit into that complicated framework. How can livestock buffer the destruction of trees and the loss of topsoil in the process of expanding human populations? Are there solutions to the challenges of water resource management that allow livestock keepers to work co-operatively with other users without a net loss in welfare? How should the development of new markets be supported such that the smallest producers are not left out of the solutions, and where are the comparative advantages of regions in livestock export markets? What has been the impact of HIV/AIDS on the livestock sector and how does this affect the ability of communities to feed themselves?

71. The policy framework into which livestock policy fits (policies and regulations that address not just livestock but also the price of fertilizer, the availability of transportation, land ownership) is a network that is rarely examined in terms of the interconnections and its joint effects. The linkages between livestock and other agricultural policies and the related linkages between these policies of other sectors must be identified and assessed in terms of dysfunctional links, inefficiencies, and duplications.

4.3 Livestock and the CAADP Pillars

72. Livestock contributes positively to the management of grazing lands, particularly where herders’ traditional methods have been modified through participatory approaches to incorporate cooperative management of the availability of and access rights to land and water. Ruminants provide a mechanism whereby forage material is digested and broken down before being reapplied to the land as manure, enriching soils. Browsing habits contribute to selective control of plant species, allowing a sustainable mix of plants and herbivores including wildlife to inhabit grazing lands.

73. A long-time pest to livestock, the tsetse fly that transmits trypanosomiasis, illustrates one manner in which cattle are constrained in contributing to expanding the area under sustainable land management. There is a striking similarity between the geographic distribution of cattle, human settlement, and tsetse fly habitation in Sub-Saharan Africa. By no coincidence, cattle and human habitat are restricted to areas in which tsetse pressure is not a significant threat to human and cattle health.

74. As outlined above, livestock contributes to sustainable land management in integrated crop-livestock systems. New areas of arable land are made available though livestock traction and soils are made more fertile when livestock manure is recycled through proper land management practices. Human resettlement and expanded settlements also require livestock, as households develop around agrarian activities.

75. For sheep and goat farmers of North Africa, one of the more constrained inputs is water. The limited availability of water and patterns of access limit small ruminant production in North Africa by preventing herd expansion and by restraining herd movement to areas affected by drought. In order to develop new practices for small ruminant water management that are consistent with water conservation, communities need to come to agreement on regional goals and priorities.

76. Where land and water resources are scarce, competition among producers in crop-livestock systems has led to conflict resulting in reduced efficiencies in distribution of these resources and increased losses of livestock and crops. Efficient solutions can be promoted through policies that encourage the development of local and regional co-operatives to manage these resources. The promotion of pooled resources such as through shared grazing lands and shared water rights reduces pressure on resources and increases the equitable distribution of benefits to producers.

77. Current concerns include how to bring poor landless livestock owners into markets, how to stimulate activity in local non-traditional markets where the majority of livestock products are traded, and whether changes in market organization and access for livestock products will marginalize smallholders. These questions are valid and answers are needed.

78. Livestock policy can also encourage the development of market opportunities by increasing the availability of market information, and by strengthening the relationships between producers’ groups and the institutions that control and monitor market information. Opportunities to expand commercial production and inter-regional trade of livestock products and the role of producers should be considered a high priority, particularly in addressing regional deficits in products for which other regions have comparative advantage.

79. Livestock contributes to livelihoods by providing food, physical and social capital, draught power, soil fertility, and other reasons outlined above. Access to livestock is generally uncomplicated and may require little capital outlay as in landless systems where village poultry and pigs are important. From such small-scale activities, livestock production can lead to larger scale market activities and foster the growth of household capital.

80. Crop production, vital to the development of Africa, relies on livestock, contributing to livelihoods through the sale of cash crops and provision of nutrition. The role of livestock in crop-livestock systems is essential, and this co-dependency has improved livelihoods in small scale and intensive production systems. New opportunities in these systems for improving livelihoods will depend on the other inter-related pillars.

81. Livestock policy should promote the exploitation of the use of resources in which regions have comparative advantage, and support opportunities for expanding production of those commodities that are currently imported. On the other hand, it makes no sense to develop regional livestock policy that promotes the domestic production of livestock products that can be imported at lower real prices.

82. Livelihoods can also be promoted through livestock regulatory policy. As livestock production increases, particularly in peri-urban areas, there will be increased concerns over food safety, the risk of zoonotic diseases, and environmental contamination. Sensible and locally appropriate veterinary public health policy should be developed to encourage producers and communities to monitor these risks, emphasizing producer and consumer education and ensuring the appropriate enforcement of penalties.

83. Livestock policy directed at promoting research, technology, and adoption (hereafter referred to as livestock R&D policy) needs to pay careful attention to demand led and stakeholder prioritized needs. Wherever possible, livestock R&D policy should engage and promote the resources and leadership of African institutions and human resources in technological development, including the National Agricultural Research Stations (NARS), universities, African NGOs, and local community organizations and institutions. Para-veterinarians have proven highly useful as links between headquarters based technical staff and village level producers, assisting in transfer of both technology and information regarding producer needs. Such policy should address the nature of effective and sustainable programme structure, cost recovery, and user input.

84. The differences between agro-ecological regions and systems of production in Africa are too great to allow a generalized research, technology, and adoption (R&D) policy for livestock that will fit for all regions. Thus, a formal R&D policy should be drawn up at regional levels. There should be consultation including communication and linkage with other similar large scale activities so as to avoid duplication of effort. There should also be a clear attempt to address adoption in terms of appropriateness of the research, the likelihood of adoption, and the framework in which it will take place.

4.4 Investments in Livestock Infrastructure

85. As envisaged under the CAADP, sustainable development of the livestock sub-sector would be underpinned by investments in existing and new livestock infrastructure. Such infrastructure would include livestock watering points and improvement of surface water supply systems, as well as vaccination and slaughtering facilities including the treatment of livestock products. Investment costs, provisionally estimated at a total of US$1.4 billion for the period 2002-2014, are based on an overall estimate of US$ 1.8 per livestock unit (LU) which would include the infrastructure items mentioned above.


In further work, this chapter will be adjusted more deliberately to link with the existing and new chapters of the NEPAD CAADP.

5.1 Africa’s Natural Resource Base under Threat

86. Africa’s natural resources are coming under increasing pressure from many quarters but particularly from increasing population and higher levels of economic activity. Farmers and rural households, who depend on these resources, often have a short-time horizon of maximizing immediate benefit leading to over-exploitation of the natural resource base. There is, therefore, an urgent imperative to broaden the assessment of the CAADP’s critical pillars for investment to include the sustainability dimensions and the institutional context. This will require the CAADP to focus simultaneously on targeting investment options with rapid and easily-measured benefits as well as on the long-term improvements in livelihoods accruing from the use of the resources.

87. Land is inextricably linked to the survival and livelihood of most people in Africa. Land degradation, a widespread and serious threat facing many African countries, results from a combination of many factors including population pressure, overgrazing, over cultivation, deforestation, inequitable land access and tenure policies, soil erosion, soil fertility decline, salinization, soil compaction, agrochemical pollution and inappropriate farming and land management practices and widespread poverty. The result is declining crop and livestock productivity and in some cases recurrent droughts as witnessed in countries of Eastern and Southern Africa.

88. Some of the key issues that need to be addressed include managing conflict between farmers, livestock herders and pastoralists; proper land-use planning that takes into account the role of livestock in small-holder agriculture and improvement in livestock feed; better crop-livestock interaction which could be a vehicle for intensification and diversification and reducing livestock density in pastureland and cropland.

89. There has been a noticeable decline in soil fertility in sub-Saharan Africa resulting in declining agricultural yields, food insecurity, desertification of arid areas, rising competition for the remaining land resources, and increased potential for conflict. Desertification is another serious concern in many areas, particularly in the more arid zones where climate variability and poor land management practices combine to threaten sustainable productivity of soil and vegetation. Investing in the management of soil and land resources is, therefore, a priority requiring urgent action in the CAADP.

90. Rainfed agriculture is dominant throughout Africa, with only 7% of Africa’s arable land irrigated and 4% for sub-Saharan Africa. Hence farmers and agriculture based economies of many African countries are vulnerable to climatic variations. The recurrent drought and famine witnessed in East and Southern Africa and the Sahel are largely a result of such unpredictability in the rainfall pattern. Harnessing Africa’s water potential is thus a crucial challenge facing NEPAD and increasing investment in irrigation must be a priority. At the same time, efforts should be made to mitigate the impact of irrigation on health and the environment. Water-borne diseases linked to irrigation (i.e. schistosomiasis and malaria) are a major source of fatality in Africa. Salinization and water pollution, if unchecked at an early stage, could undermine the sustainability of production.

91. Water shortages and poor quality of freshwater constrain agricultural production and increase the incidence of drought and water-borne diseases. The demand for water in the continent is expected to increase as economic development takes place in co-basin neighbouring states, leading to stiffer competition and even conflict requiring collective effort and greater regional cooperation.

92. Forests and woodlands play an important role in the lives of Africans. They serve as an important source of food, fibre and shelter; provide medicinal plants, building materials and fuel for their use and well-being. Indirectly, forests and woodlands regulate the environment by checking soil erosion and controlling runoff rainfall, flooding and recharging aquifers. There is, therefore, need for an appropriate sustainability framework that includes environmental concerns in all areas for approval of new investments and in particular to remove the major causes of overexploitation of forests; establish punitive penalties for illegal logging and breaking of set forest regulations; encourage selective exploitation of mature species; promotes afforestation, reforestation and agro forestry to relieve pressure on natural forests; control the opening up of new land and shifting cultivation; encourage crop rotation as opposed to shifting cultivation, improve the flow of information and enforce established regulations.

93. The fisheries of the African continent and its recognized marine zones are probably the most diverse in the world. The continent’s seas are contiguous from the Mediterranean Sea to the Southern Ocean, through the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean and within the Atlantic Ocean from the southern edges of the European zones down to the waters surrounding the Antarctic. The diversity of freshwaters is also enormous. Within the continent are some of the largest rivers of the world, ancient lakes with endemic fish faunas, deep and large lakes like inland seas, floodplains, swamps and complex river systems, some not terminating in the sea.

94. Transitional rivers, lakes and floodplains vary intensely due to seasonal water balances because of climatic fluctuations. Some freshwater systems that have traditionally supported fisheries and agriculture have been altered to enable alternative use, including power generation and industrial development, urban water supply and waste water transport. Many still remain significant elements of transport systems. The water ways of Africa (seas, coasts and rivers) are not just about what living resources can be sustainably extracted but about the diversity of the aquatic environment. If properly managed, it can be sustainably used across humanity’s needs, now and for future generations, and against the environmental and ecosystem potentials and constraints upon which all life depends.

95. Agro-biodiversity which comprises the biological resources that sustain agriculture and crop varieties, medicinal and other useful plants and farm animals is associated with indigenous knowledge related to these resources. These biological resources are rich and varied and have direct significance in the effort to improve food security, nutrition, healthcare, livelihood as well as mitigating the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The conservation of agro-biodiversity resources and indigenous knowledge has often suffered as a result of habitat loss, over-harvesting of important species and the spread of alien species.

5.2 Creating an Enabling Policy and Institutional Environment

96. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, several African governments started implementing agricultural reform measures aimed at improving the performance of their agricultural sectors. A number of these reform measures are still relevant for successfully pursuing the sustainability goals of the CAADP. However, a review will be necessary in a number of areas relevant to CAADP in order to learn from past experiences. An important starting point would be for African governments to collectively agree on the basic sustainability rules and guidelines for the CAADP by enactment of appropriate environmental legislations and regulations.

97. The poor do not benefit adequately from the exploitation of natural resources because their rights to these resources are seldom complete, exclusive, enforceable and transferable. The political systems for defining these property rights are often loaded against the poor. The result is often sub-optimal exploitation of natural resources with limited or no benefits for the poor. There is, therefore, need to ensure that property rights in the CAADP are clear and are compatible with the poverty alleviation goals of the programme. In this regard, it is important that care is exercised in the implementation of the privatization activities called for in the CAADP.

98. Mobilizing the potential of renewable energy requires policies related to sustainable energy development, to agriculture’s role as an energy producer and to the full integration of energy services into rural development plans and programmes. Renewable energy can be an engine to promoting broad-based agriculture and rural development as well as reducing hurdles related to health, education and infrastructure problems facing Africa.

99. Biomass, in the form of wood fuel and charcoal has played a major role for centuries and continues to cover household and many other energy requirements, unfortunately not always in a sustainable or healthy fashion. The potential of more modern and technologically upgraded applications of biomass, such as its conversion to liquid fuels (ethanol), gaseous fuels (biogas-methane) or other energy carriers such as electricity is high. Solar and wind energies are slowly finding their way into rural Africa owing to their effectiveness as decentralized systems for both household and productive uses.

100. One of the major constraints in many African countries is how to translate policies enunciated at federal/national level into actions at community level, particularly in the areas of land, forest, wildlife and biodiversity management. This is largely as a result of the lack of organizations established by local people and serving their interest. Community-based organizations would play a central role in the empowerment of local people as a stakeholder and in providing greater incentive to manage and utilize their natural resources in a sustainable way.

101. Improving the status of women and their decision-making ability in agriculture and natural resources management as well as reducing the work burden of women in key tasks is an important aspect of empowerment. It is highly relevant in attaining the twin objective of improving productivity and sustainability as women spend an overwhelming amount of their time in food production and natural resources management. The traditional role of women puts gender specific constraints in wood fuel and water collection, post-harvest activities, livestock management which increases the pressure on their time and increases the demand for large families leading to degradation of natural resources. These gender specific constraints have serious implications for the sustainability of the achievement of the CAADP investment objectives.

5.3 Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability

102. The “greening” of the CAADP considers those agricultural and natural resources management issues that must be taken into account in order to sustainably exploit Africa’s key natural resources of land, water, forest, fisheries, livestock, energy and biodiversity in such a way that the choices and economic options of present generations are enlarged without restricting the future generations. The proposed investment strategies should have broad lenses and include key cross-cutting issues with implication to achieving the goals of the CAADP as well as those of forestry, fisheries and livestock development. In the pursuit of the development goals of the CAADP and those activities with sustainability dimensions (in natural resources management practice and policies) for greening the CAADP, there will be trade-off involving short-term and long-term benefits.

103. The transformation of agriculture and the greening of the CAADP in Africa will depend largely on bringing innovations and good management practices to vast numbers of small-scale farmers, who are often resource-poor. Risk aversion is a major constraint in adoption of innovations among many smallholders requiring investment. The reported decline in fertilizer use (due to increased price compared to crop prices) among smallholders in several Eastern and Southern Africa countries is a good example of farmers’ risk-aversion behaviour and the supply-driven nature of extension system in many African countries. The extension approach needed to be reoriented and flexible to respond to farmers’ capacity to invest in affordable soil, water, forest and livestock improvement techniques, local resources endowment and various agro-ecological zones.

104. Rural infrastructure provides services which are critical for sustainable agriculture. It is basic to increased agricultural production and improved quality of life in rural areas. Inadequacies in the provision of these facilities are the principal source of market fragmentation and distortion of price signals, two important causes of food insecurity. Several categories of rural infrastructure have important sustainability implications for the CAADP’s proposed investment strategies. Those of immediate and direct relevance include water use facilities, renewable energy, rural roads and markets.

105. Marketing constraints facing African farmers represent a serious impediment to the sustainability of CAADP goals to improve agricultural productivity. In most cases local commodity markets are very limited and as a result, modest increases in agricultural productivity tend to flood the markets resulting in dramatically reduced prices. Returns and profits are reduced and the incentive to produce larger quantities of agricultural products during subsequent years diminishes.

106. To be successful, the sustainability framework proposed below must be supported on a broad front by the provision of the required set of institutions (research, extension, credit, education, etc.) and infrastructure (roads, energy, etc.), both public and private. There should be conducive policies that encourage the right type of public, private sector and local community based involvement in such areas as roads, water, energy, telecommunication and the provision of other public goods. There will also be need for the review of the functioning of taxation and licensing institutions to ensure that they promote rather than choke trade and investment arising from the sustainability considerations described earlier.

107. The achievement of the main objectives of the CAADP will require complimentary investments in the building of national, sub-regional, and regional “agricultural knowledge systems” to empower farmers, strengthen national, sub-regional, and regional and agricultural research, extension and training centres, strengthen rural institutions, and build indigenous capacities for effective policy design and application.

108. A framework for integrating environmental sustainability considerations into the CAADP would thus involve various stakeholders who may have different and often conflicting interests. Thus, it should be approached gradually in order to raise environmental awareness at all levels and build political support and momentum for the successful implementation. Empowerment and ensuring the participation of local people as discussed above should be fundamental in this political process.

109. The need for continuous monitoring and assessment of the integration efforts at all levels cannot be overemphasized. Institutional capacity for information flow, monitoring and policy analysis has to be developed if governments are to be effective in their regulatory and facilitating role. Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) provide useful tools that can be used at the policy and strategy level to capture the environmental benefits and to avoid harmful consequences. The process of conducting SEAs will help to develop indicators that can show the impacts of the incorporation of the sustainability considerations into the CAADP. It will also permit changes to be made so as to increase the chances of success of the integration process and to respond to changing conditions.

110. Some of the key principles to consider in the planning and formulation process to ensure sustainability of CAADP programmes are that African countries should not make commitments to sustainability activities beyond their institutional, technical, and financial capacities. Preference should be given to projects for which countries are willing to commit their own funds, so as to reinforce a sense of African ownership. Efforts should be made to integrate sustainability considerations into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) that form the basis for investment planning in most African countries.

111. Sustained and stable funding for the “greening” of the CAADP will be a difficult challenge facing African governments. To meet this challenge will require creative and imaginative funding mechanisms. In this regard and in the spirit of the self-reliance character of NEPAD, African governments should recognize and encourage the development of new forms of partnerships with their informal financial sectors. Appropriate legal and policy frameworks that are conducive to the emergence of a system of sound rural micro-finance institutions linked to the larger apex financial networks would also be required. African governments could also, with the support of donor organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), introduce funding mechanisms involving micro-enterprises and decentralized funding arrangements for the sustainability and natural resources based activities of the CAADP.

1 Unless stated otherwise, in this report the term “Fisheries” incorporates marine and inland capture fisheries as well as all forms of raising fish in captivity (aquaculture). The term “fish”, unless otherwise stated, includes fin-fish, mollusks and crustaceans.
2 FAO Yearbook. Fishery Statistics 2001. Commodities. Vol. 93. FAO, Rome, 2003
3 The four pillars under CAADP are the following: (i) extending the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems; (ii) improving infrastructure and trade-related capacities for market access; (iii) increasing food supply and reducing hunger; strengthening national and regional food security; and, (iv) agriculture research, technology dissemination and adoption.
4 FAO Technical Paper 408/2