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Country Statements and General Debates

Report on FAO Activities in the Region 2002-2003 (ARC/04/2)

The Conference:

1. welcomed the comprehensive report presented by the Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa (ADG/RR) and commended the active role that FAO is taking in supporting African Agriculture, particularly the NEPAD-CAADP; (paragraphs 25 and 26)

2. recommended that the next Regional Conferences should be organized in a way that country statements focus only on key success stories to share with others; (paragraph 26)

3. noted that selected FAO achievements in individual countries could be of high interest to neighbouring countries because of the cross-border implications; and therefore recommended that FAO should adopt the sub-regional approach when implementing such programmes. (paragraph 27)

Discussion Items

Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP): Progress Review (ARC/04/4.1) and related Sub-Items

For the Attention of Governments, Regional Economic Communities, the African Union and NEPAD

The Conference:

4. recommended the establishment of a Forum of Permanent Secretaries in order to support and ensure the implementation process for the CAADP at the national, regional and continental levels in an effective and coherent manner; (paragraph 34a)

5. recommended setting up CAADP focal points at national level to drive the process; (paragraph 34b)

6. urged that annual reports on CAADP Implementation are prepared by the NEPAD Secretariat; (paragraph 34c)

7. urged the NEPAD Secretariat to work with FAO and other development partners to set up a clear mechanism for monitoring the progress of the CAADP, with well-defined performance indicators and specific time-frame; (paragraph 34d)

8. stressed the need for NEPAD and the African Union (AU) to consider including the agricultural sector in peer review to support good governance for implementation, in line with the existing established principles of the AU; (paragraph 34e)

9. recommended that NEPAD works with the AU to establish a CAADP Support Group; (paragraph 34f)

10. recommended that particular attention be given to the improvement of fertilizer availability, affordability and production in Africa, on the basis of regional cooperation and involvement of the private sector; in this respect, the Conference unanimously adopted the Resolution ARC/04/RES; (paragraph 34h)

11. recommended to countries that had not done so, to engage with FAO to review policies and strategies, and the development of medium-term investment plans and bankable projects; (paragraph 35a)

12. urged the NEPAD Secretariat and FAO to continue to facilitate exchanges of experiences on success stories among countries in Africa; (paragraph 35b)

13. recommended that the AfDB infrastructure programmes for the development of rural infrastructure should support food production and market access; (paragraph 35c)

14. recommended that mainstreaming gender issues should be integral to all CAADP strategy programmes; (paragraph 35d)

15. stressed the need to do further work to clarify the concept and process of establishing African Centres of Excellence as a basis for facilitating capacity-building and sharing experience; (paragraph 36b)

16. requested that the implementation of CAADP should take into account the specificity, peculiarity, and the challenges of Small-Island Developing States; (paragraph 36c)

17. urged member countries to ensure that the 10% budget allocation for investment in agriculture and rural development should be justified by good returns. (paragraph 37b)

For the Attention of FAO

The Conference:

18. urged FAO to assist member countries to develop sustainable approaches to soil fertility improvement based on integrated natural resources management and greater integration of crop-livestock systems; (paragraph 34h)

19. recommended further consultations with national governments and farmers' organizations to identify concerns, priorities and areas of investments when preparing the CAADP companion document on integrating forestry, fisheries and livestock sectors; (paragraph 36a)

20. recommended that FAO and other development partners should assist member countries in better articulating and defining the scope and application of the 10% budget allocation for investment in agriculture and rural development. (paragraph 37a)

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) for Food Security in Africa (ARC/04/5)

For the Attention of Governments, Regional Economic Communities and AU/NEPAD

The Conference:

21. acknowledged that IWRM was now considered the most appropriate framework for "good water governance" and recommended its adoption as a strategic framework for all water-related socio-economic development activities; (paragraph 38)

22. further acknowledged the risks associated with rain-fed agriculture in semi-arid and drought-prone areas and urged member countries to adopt drought-mitigation measures in those areas subject to frequent weather vagaries leading to famine and food-aid requirements; (paragraph 39)

23. recognized the important role of irrigation in food production and poverty reduction and recommended that irrigation should be integral to any strategy to sustainably increase agricultural output; (paragraph 40)

24. noted that some 60% of water withdrawn for agricultural production was lost in a variety of ways and recommended the adoption of water saving techniques and better on-farm water management in order to improve irrigation water efficiency and productivity; (paragraph 41)

25. further noted the 25 action-points - which confirmed the existing commitments and the new actions that were proposed by the Heads of State and Governments in their February 2004 Sirte, Libya Declaration on Agriculture and Water in Africa within the context of NEPAD and recommended that:

a. The AU working with Member Countries should take appropriate steps to translate the commitments into concrete actions; (paragraph 42a)

b. National governments should ensure public investment and private sector participation in the development of water resources for agricultural production and food security. (paragraph 42b)

For the Attention of FAO

The Conference:

26. recognized the advantages of small-scale irrigation and requested FAO to continue its assistance to Member Countries to expand their water management programmes within the framework of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS); the Conference however emphasized the need to build environmental and health-protection measures into irrigation development programmes. (paragraph 40)

Standing Item: Follow-up to the World Food Summit (WFS) and The World Food Summit: five years later (WFS:fyl) - Regional Dimensions (ARC/04/3)

For the Attention of Governments and Regional Economic Communities:

27. The Conference recommended that:

a. Governments should step up their efforts to translate the commitments made at the WFS and at the WFS:fyl into actions; (Appendix F, paragraph 45a)

b. Governments should coordinate policies and programmes and have holistic inter-disciplinary approach to tackle food insecurity in all its dimensions; (Appendix F, paragraph 45b)

c. Governments should accord high priority to food and the agricultural sector within a broad-based development framework, and that development approaches, strategies and programmes be nationally owned; (Appendix F, paragraph 45c)

d. Regional Economic Communities should explore creating internal funding mechanism to help implement their respective regional programmes for food security. (Appendix F, paragraph 45d)

For the Attention of FAO

28. The Conference recommended that:

a. FAO should ensure that apart from cassava and rice, other staple crops such as maize be given due emphasis in CAADP, in view of their importance in the diet of many Member Countries; research should be undertaken to diversify in the long-term diets in countries where maize is the main food commodity; (Appendix F, paragraph 46a)

b. FAO should continue to provide its technical assistance to Member Countries towards the work on grain reserves in view of their importance at national, sub-regional and regional levels. (Appendix F, paragraph 46b)

Information Items

Contribution of Agricultural Research and Extension to Food Security and Poverty Reduction in the African Region (ARC/04INF/5)

For the Attention of Governments

29. The Conference:

a. stressed the need for an African Research Agenda to cover all sub-sectors; (Appendix F, paragraph 58a)

b. especially underlined the necessity for the effective use of existing technologies and the opportunities provided by "intra-Africa technical cooperation"; (Appendix F, paragraph 58b)

c. recommended that more attention should be given to the funding of Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (ARES) in line with financial commitments made by the Governments, regional and international funding agencies. (Appendix F, paragraph 58g)

For the Attention of FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa), FAO and NEPAD

30. The Conference:

a. endorsed in principle the recommendations to hold sub-regional conferences on agricultural research and extension and requested FARA, FAO, NEPAD and other stakeholders to work out the details; (Appendix F, paragraph 54)

b. urged NEPAD, FARA and FAO to report on progress at the next FAO Africa Regional Conference. (Appendix F, paragraph 56)

The Bushmeat Crisis in Africa: Conciliating Food Security and Biodiversity Conservation in the Continent (ARC/04/INF/7)

For the Attention of Governments, FAO and Other Development Partners

31. The Conference noted that bushmeat continues to play an important role in providing protein, medicine and in providing income for rural poor and therefore recommended:

a. that Governments, FAO and international partners should accord particular attention to identifying appropriate alternative solutions and help implement them in collaboration with local communities. (Appendix F, paragraph 58)

For the Attention of FAO

32. The Conference:

a. recommended that FAO in collaboration with relevant international and regional organizations should initiate studies on sanitary risks and eventual diseases transmitted through bushmeat consumption; (Appendix F, paragraph 59)

b. requested FAO to work with Member countries and development partners to continue sharing experiences on the subject. (Appendix F, paragraph 60)

HIV/AIDS and the Food Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa (ARC/04/INF/8)

For the Attention of Governments

33. The Conference recommended that:

a. Governments should take urgent action to review and strengthen agricultural policy and programming in order to mainstream HIV/AIDS considerations in sectoral strategies for agricultural development; (Appendix F, paragraph 63a)

b. All parties involved should aim to reach an integrated response to cover the emergency-to-development continuum whilst maintaining a humanitarian perspective. (Appendix F, paragraph 63c)

For the Attention of FAO and other Development Partners

34. The Conference recommended that development partners, especially UNAIDS, WHO, FAO and the World Bank in close cooperation with NEPAD should increase their budget allocation to strengthen the institutional capacity to combat the epidemic through increasing collaboration with Governments, NGOs and Civic Society. (Appendix F, paragraph 63b):

International Year of Rice - 2004 (ARC/04/INF/9

For the Attention of Governments

35. The Conference:

a. noted the presentation and particularly the high potential contribution of NERICA rice to food security and urged Member Countries to promote the dissemination of the new rice variety; (Appendix F, paragraph 64)

b. encouraged Member Countries to observe the International Year of Rice. (Appendix F, paragraph 65)

Side Events


For the Attention of Governments

36. The Conference recommended to:

a. increase public funding to agriculture/rural sector by at least 10% rising to 30%; (paragraph 69a)

b. formulate and promote policies and programmes that support family-based agroecological approaches to agriculture; (paragraph 69b)

c. commit themselves to promoting the establishment of national alliances against hunger enshrining the Right to Food, with strong civil society involvement; (paragraph 69c)

d. apply for TCP funding for Farmers' Organizations capacity building; (paragraph 69d)

e. work on mechanisms of involving Farmers' Organization/Civil Society Organization (FO/NGO/CSO) in development policy programmes and projects and initiatives such as NEPAD; (paragraph 69e)

f. address problems that make farming difficult and unprofitable: funding, Infrastructure, markets, peace and security; (paragraph 69f)

g. involve FO/NGO/CSO in international protocols and agreements like WTO that affect the rural people; (paragraph 69g)

h. commit themselves to enhance sub-regional integration to promote inter-regional trade. (paragraph 69h)

For the Attention of FAO:

37. The Conference recommended that FAO should:

a. Provide support to NGO/CSO/FOs to enable their effective participation in the NEPAD/CAADP; (paragraph 70a)

b. contribute to promote policy dialogue between NGO/CSO and Governmental actors at national and regional levels; (paragraph 70b)

c. sensitize FAO country offices on the need to strengthen their relations with NGO/CSO and promote policy dialogue with Governments; (paragraph 70c)

d. designate focal points for FAO-NGO/CSO relations in the FAO country offices in order to promote cooperation with NGO/CSOs/FOs at the national level; (paragraph 70d)

e. support and involve Farmers’ Organizations in its programmes and projects by working out a clear mechanism of participation, particularly in the Special Programme for Food Security at national and regional level; (paragraph 70e)

f. encourage the use of TCP funding for the capacity-building of FOs; (paragraph 70f)

g. contribute to the strengthening of the International Planning Committee (IPC) networking in the Africa Region and assist the network in the implementation of its plan of action; (paragraph 70g)

h. assist NGO/CSOs/FOs in mobilizing resources required for the implementation of their activities. (paragraph 70h)

FAO/AfDB Round Table on Financing Agricultural and Rural Development

For the Attention of Governments and Development Partners

38. The Conference agreed that:

a. Governments should continue to review agricultural policies and legislative frameworks to create an enabling environment for making better use of development resources; (paragraph 74)

b. Ministries of Agriculture should become more effective as "champions" of the agricultural sector and the rural poor and in securing a larger share of PRSP and HIPC resources; (paragraph 74)

c. Governments should ensure that investment funds reach the farmers themselves, since they are the primary producers of wealth in most African countries. (paragraph 76)

39. The Conference emphasized:

a. the need for small-scale, low-cost participatory approach; (paragraph 75)

b. the need for financing institutions and development partners to streamline their own procedures in project processing, procurement, disbursement and monitoring; (paragraph 78)

c. furthermore, the role of Governments in engaging local stakeholders, i.e. the private sector, farmers, development finance institutions, as well as development partners and finance institutions in increasing investment in agriculture; (paragraph 79)

d. the need to further examine the question of preferential interest rates for small-scale farmers and other options for rural finance (paragraph 76).

40. The Conference recommended that agriculture's contribution to the economic growth and its role as a productive sector in the economy should be recognized and reflected in budgetary allocations. (paragraph 77)

Other Matters

For the Attention of Governments

41. The Conference decided that Rome-based Permanent Representatives should continue their discussion with FAO and WHO to agree on the time and the venue of the proposed regional conference on food safety for Africa. (paragraph 82)

For the Attention of FAO

42. The Conference recommended that FAO should consider the use of Portuguese language during the 33rd Session of the FAO Conference in 2005. (paragraph 81)

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