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Chapter 1

Underpinning Investments in African Agriculture and trade-related Capacities for improved Market Access: A Continental Vision

1.1. Introduction - Purpose of the Document

This document, which presents the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of NEPAD, is directed at Africa's policy makers in NEPAD's own institutions; at national policy makers in both public and private sectors; at those who influence public opinion through non-governmental institutions; at academia and think tanks concerned with Africa's development; and at officials in the development co-operation agencies of donor and multilateral bodies. It is prepared to present broad themes of primary opportunity for investment to reverse the crisis situation facing Africa's agriculture, which has made the continent import-dependent, vulnerable to even small vagaries of climate, and dependent to an inordinate degree on food aid.

This document is not a blueprint, nor is it a manual for stepwise action to uplift African agriculture. It is also not a shopping list of projects - indeed, it has no specific project on offer for investors4. Its main contribution is in sensitising policy-makers that they need to act on selected fronts in order to make a quick difference to Africa's agricultural malaise:

The document title promises a "comprehensive" programme but in fact its contents deliberately focus on a few pillars of action that can most rapidly enable Africa to be more productive in agriculture. The decision to focus on what makes the earliest difference to the crisis is easily justified given that Africa the continent that is the world's poorest, receives a quarter of global food aid shipments, spends nearly US$19 billion annually on agricultural imports, and suffers most from man-made and natural disasters that require food and agricultural responses.

However, Africa can at the same time not afford to ignore globally recognised lessons which show that development is easiest if the environment for it is right: appropriate knowledge and human capacities, supportive policies, laws, institutions and attitudes - all these, as well as capacity, are important. Thus, while stressing the pillars listed above for immediate action, the CAADP makes reference to enabling conditions - but leaves further elaboration for other documents and for the longer term. One exception is made: the issue of research and technology. It has been the strong view of the NEPAD Steering Committee and of the June 2002 meeting of Africa's ministers responsible for agriculture that the CAADP needs to include a pillar on this crosscutting need, even though its benefits only occur in the long term.

1.2. Evolution of the CAADP Document

As indicated in the preamble, this document has, at the invitation of the NEPAD Steering Committee, been prepared by FAO in co-operation with the NEPAD Secretariat. It has been prepared following a consultative process, the key elements of which have been set out in the box at the very beginning of this document.

1.3. African Agriculture in Crisis

Africa, most of whose people are farmers, is unable to feed itself and has been in this situation for many decades now. The number of chronically undernourished people has risen from 173 million in 1990-92 to some 200 million in 1997-99. Of these, 194 million (34 percent of the population) are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

At the same time, there has been a progressive growth in food imports in the last years of the 20th century, with Africa spending an estimated US$18.7 billion in 2000. Africa's share of global agricultural imports in 1998 was 4.6 percent. Its share of developing country imports was 16.3 percent. Agricultural imports account for about 15 percent of total African imports. It is of particular concern that the share of gross export revenues needed for importing food has increased from 12 percent to over 30 percent in East Africa. Part of Africa's "imports" is food aid, with the continent receiving 2.8 million tons in year 2000. In the mid-1990s, out of the world total of 32 million victims of disasters receiving relief assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP), 21.5 million were living in Africa. In 2001, the number of people suffering from food emergencies ranged between 23 and 28 million. In terms of exports too, agriculture has generally performed poorly, with the relative share of African agricultural exports in world markets falling from 8 percent in 1971-80 to 3.4 percent in 1991-2000. The value of agricultural exports, which amounted to US$14 billion in 2000, is growing extremely slowly, having been US$12 billion in 1990.

Food insecurity is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1990-92 and 1997-99 daily per capita dietary energy supply in Sub-Saharan Africa rose slightly from 2120 to 2190 kcal. The number of chronically under-nourished people, however, increased from 168 to 194 million during the same period. Imports of cereals by Sub-Saharan countries are estimated at some 17 million tons in 2000, including 2.8 million tons of food aid. Much of the solution to poor nutrition lies with expanding production in Africa itself: it may be noted that globally, even after the doubling of world grain supplies, the share of trade in total grain consumption has remained stable at about 10 percent. Thus, by and large, most of the world's food consumption takes place in the countries in which it is produced. In low-income countries, this dependence on production to ensure adequate food supplies is more acute.

This food shortage is a source of enormous concern. It is estimated that if the self-sufficiency ratio in Sub-Saharan Africa is to stay the same in 2015 as in 1995-97 (about 85 percent), the sub-continent will have to meet 118 million tons of its projected needs of 139 million tons of cereals through increased production in the region itself, requiring a substantial increase of output. These stark realities highlight the huge scale of the problem.

It is, however, also possible to look at the food gap as a tremendous opportunity. The existence of such large shortfalls provides a potential market for small farmers, amongst whom poverty and hunger are concentrated, to expand their output and improve their livelihoods, in turn enabling countries to reduce their import dependence. For this to happen in a situation of increasingly liberalised international markets, however, farming within the Region must become more competitive.

Until the incidence of hunger is brought down and the enormous costs of importing food supplies is reduced by raising the output of farm products which the region can produce with comparative advantage, there is little prospect of achieving the high rates of economic growth to which NEPAD aspires. People suffering from hunger are marginalised within the economy, contributing little to output and still less to demand; they are also constantly vulnerable to shocks. Agricultural-led development is fundamental to cutting hunger, reducing poverty, generating economic growth, reducing the burden of food imports and opening the way to an expansion of exports.

1.4. Importance of Agriculture and Challenges in tapping its Potential

1.4.1. Importance

Agriculture, providing 60 percent of all employment, constitutes the backbone of most African economies; in most countries, it is still the largest contributor to GDP; the biggest source of foreign exchange, still accounting for about 40 percent of the continent's hard currency earnings; and the main generator of savings and tax revenues. The agricultural sector is also still the dominant provider of industrial raw materials with about two-thirds of manufacturing value-added in most African countries being based on agricultural raw materials. Agriculture thus remains crucial for economic growth in most African countries.

The rural areas, where agriculture is the mainstay of all people, support some 70-80 percent of the total population, including 70 percent of the continent's extreme poor and undernourished. Improvement in agricultural performance has potential to increase rural incomes and purchasing power for large numbers of people Thus, more than any other sector, agriculture can uplift people on a mass scale. With greater prosperity, the consequent higher effective demand for African industrial and other goods would induce dynamics that would be a significant source of economic growth.

For best contribution, it will be important that development initiatives under any component of the NEPAD framework be supportive of or compatible with agriculture, given its fundamental role in economic development in Africa. For example, NEPAD's activities on good governance, infrastructure, policy reform, human resources development etc., all help to create an enabling environment for farmers to contribute more to Africa's economic development. In short, agriculture must be the engine for overall economic growth in Africa.

1.4.2. Challenges and Basis for Response

However, there should be no illusion of quick fixes, or miracle paths, towards African self-reliance in food and agriculture. Achievement of a productive and profitable agricultural / agro-industrial sector will require Africa to address a complex set of challenges, including the following:

Furthermore, Africa will also need to improve the policy and regulatory framework for agriculture to make it more supportive of both local community participation in rural areas and commercial private sector operations. It will need to improve governance, in terms of giving a voice to both small and large-scale players in the farming community.

If such constraints are eased through a combination of actions, a virtuous cycle can be started of reduced hunger, increased productivity, increased incomes and sustainable poverty reduction. All the above require commitment of a high order. Regrettably, the past decades have revealed that Africa's governments themselves as well as bilateral and multilateral development partners pay little attention to agriculture and rural development. Many African governments are reported to allocate as little as less than 1 percent of their budgets to this sector. The World Bank, a prime funding source for Africa, had 39 percent of its lending going to agriculture in 1978, but only 12 percent in 1996 and further down to 7 percent in 2000.

1.5. NEPAD - Overall Vision and Agriculture in Context

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), hitherto known as the New African Initiative, resulted from the merger of the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) developed by Presidents Mbeki of South Africa, Obasanjo of Nigeria, Bouteflika of Algeria and Mubarak of Egypt, and the Omega Plan proposed by President Wade of Senegal. A core group of five countries namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria and Egypt, and an Implementation Committee of 15 Heads of State spearhead the NEPAD. South Africa hosts the Secretariat of NEPAD. The President of Nigeria Chairs the Implementation Committee of 15 Heads of states and Governments, with those of Senegal and Algeria serving as Vice-Chairs. Under NEPAD, which is a project of the Organisation of African Unity / African Union, African Heads of State and Government have adopted an overall vision of Africa's development, which states "We agree on the overall vision of Africa's development: a prosperous continent free of conflict in which all our people can fulfil their potential, that participates effectively in the global economy on an equal footing".

Realising that Africa can only take its proper place in the international community if it gains economic strength, African Heads of State and Government have set an ambitious target of 7 percent annual growth rate in GDP over the next 20 years to eradicate poverty, achieve food security and build the foundations of sustainable economic development on the continent.

NEPAD, which seeks to complement other African initiatives and to use existing frameworks for action, concentrates on priorities organised under two broad themes: Peace, Security, democracy and political governance and Economic and corporate governance. Specific themes include:

For all these, NEPAD intends to mobilise domestic and external resources and to establish new forms of partnership with the domestic and international communities.

1.6. A Vision for African Agriculture

Within the overall vision of NEPAD, the vision for African agriculture should seek to maximise the contribution of Africa's largest economic sector to achieving the ambition of a self-reliant and productive Africa that can play its full part on the world stage. In essence, agriculture must within NEPAD, deliver broadly based economic advancement which other economic sectors, such as petroleum, minerals and tourism, may also contribute significantly to but cannot achieve on the mass scale that agriculture has potential to do. The NEPAD goal for the sector is an agricultural-led development that eliminate hunger, reduces poverty and food insecurity thereby opening the way for an expansion for exports and put the continent on a higher economic growth path within an overall strategy of sustainable development and preservation of the natural resource base.

Text Box 1: NEPAD Agriculture and the Millenium Development Goals

In the year 2000, African countries signed up to the Millennium Declaration. The Declaration, which defined eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and 18 more detailed targets, represented a determination by all governments to create and environment, at the national and international levels, which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty by 2015. The MDGs, and particularly its goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability, are crucial for the NEPAD programme for African agriculture: specifically, member countries should expect NEPAD interventions to fall within the framework of the MDGs, and to contribute to their achievement.

In Africa as elsewhere in the developing world, Poverty Reduction Strategies are increasingly used the national level as the vehicle through which governments seek to operationally their agriculture and rural development strategies. There is, therefore, a clear and two-way relationship between the NEPAD programme for African agriculture and the Poverty Reduction Strategies: on the one hand, the contents of the national strategies will determine the content of NEPAD's approach to agricultural development; while on the other, NEPAD can be increasingly expected to inform the preparation and revision of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PSRPs).

The vision for agriculture is that the continent should, by the year 2015:

1.7. Enabling Conditions for African Agricultural Development

Africa has some success stories and these demonstrate the enormous potential that the agricultural sector can offer as an engine of economic growth. The NEPAD programme recognises these and a wide range of constraints hindering progress in African agriculture, of which attention can be drawn in particular to: limited incomes and therefore constrained markets; how to ensure large-scale adoption of locally adapted agricultural technologies to remove the constraints to productivity; how to make the predominant small-scale production in a world dominated by large-scale producers, many of whom are subsidised; and how to bring about institutional innovations that will enable the African agricultural community to maintain efficient and dynamic, demand-driven, participatory and pluralistic systems; climatic uncertainty and lack of access to irrigation; Africa also faces inadequate and inefficient agricultural systems; and weak institutional support (including in research and extension). Agriculture operates in an environment that in many African countries has some of the following attributes that need attention if the environment is to be enabling:

Text Box 2: Selected Impediments to African Agricultural Renewal

Introduction: The widespread hunger as well as the growing number of hard-core poor people in the continent are the distressing manifestations of prolonged decline caused by too limited investment. It is in view of the critical need for injection of new capital that investment is the focus under the three "pillars" of the CAADP [land and water management (Chapter 2); infrastructure and trade-related capacities for improved market access (Chapter 3); and food security - both as safety nets/response to emergencies and support to productivity increase in agriculture (Chapter 4)]. Much of this intervention will consist of the "hardware" of agricultural development that is essential in responding to the crisis the sector is facing. Yet, Africa also needs to create enabling conditions to permanently reverse the decline and for this will need to pay attention to many other "software" interventions. Some of the "software" weaknesses as presented here have helped make the continent's agriculture low in productivity, uncompetitive, highly risky and dominated by low-value primary commodities.

Governance: Poor political and economic governance are twin root causes of much of the malaise that afflicts Africa. They create general political and economic uncertainty, an unpredictable environment for business, political unrest and, sometimes, even war that make pursuit of economic growth difficult. The issue of participation is also critical; IFAD observes for Western and Central Africa that "First and foremost, the poor have little or no voice in many major decisions affecting their livelihoods"5

Policy and institutional weaknesses: Poor governance also creates an environment inimical to efficient investment of human and material resources and undermines formulation and implementation of policies and laws that can accelerate the process of economic growth and development. In the specific case of agriculture and rural development (broadly defined) improvements are sorely needed to adapt to changing market conditions and food security priorities. This involves overcoming institutional rigidities and ensuring: coherence of macro-economic frameworks. Policy, regulatory and institutional shifts are required to enable all levels of farming practice to have a stable engagement with natural resources and markets. New capacities in both the public and private sector are required; this calls for priority to investment in human and social capital. Systems of rights and land tenure arrangements need updating together with a reduction of gender-bias in policies.

Technological stagnation: African agriculture faces technological stagnation and needs to exit from excessive reliance on fickle weather conditions. It needs to increase the research and development effort as well as extension outreach. For better capacity to progress technologically and to close the technology gap, however, improved educational level of rural people is probably the most critical precondition. Combating HIV/AIDS, which in some countries is rapidly decimating the age groups with best potential for technologically upgrading agriculture, is essential.

Weakness of entrepreneurship and the private sector: Many African countries have no local private sector to speak of in the agricultural and agro-industry sectors. While it is now fashionable to speak of the African "smallholder" as the region's true private sector, the reality gives cause for great concern. The African smallholder of today may be private but lacks education; has severely limited access to communications or physical infrastructure; suffers poor health and nutrition; lacks remunerative markets and access to yield-enhancing inputs; faces competition with products from abroad that have been subsidised by more money than s/he can ever dream of. This farmer may constitute a "private sector" but cannot stand alongside and compete with multinational farming and agroindustry giants that trade with Africa. Whether labelled as private sector or otherwise, the smallholder farmer class also often suffers marginalisation, with no voice to influence policy in favour of its mainstay activity and to secure support services that are tailored to its particular needs. Africa cannot afford to be lured into complacency by references to a large smallholder private sector; it needs to develop a true rural entrepreneurial capacity. Successful entrepreneurship requires fair prospects for competitive access to markets both at home and internationally and the information to enable the farmer get the best from such markets.

HIV/AIDS: Sub-Saharan Africa is at the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, where over 25 million people (some 70% of the known global total) are living with HIV. The majority of those who suffer the impact of the epidemic live in the countryside and are extremely poor. The short-term effects on production and income are staggering in the labour-based economies of the poor. While production and incomes decline, families concurrently experience dramatic rises in health and death-related expenditures. The longer-term effects on the inter-generational transfer of knowledge, on traditional social security mechanisms, and on basic demographic and socio-economic characteristics of these societies are likely to be even greater. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is creating a new poverty dynamic. It is also partly driven by poverty, since this induces some people into high-risk situations and activities such as prostitution and migrant activities - poor women are particularly vulnerable. The gravity of and scale of the HIV epidemic is such that development interventions in all sectors - and particularly those in the rural areas where the majority of the affected live - need to face the issue head on.

Other concerns: The diversity of areas requiring attention is nearly limitless. From this can be selected: (a) inadequate targeting of attention on the particular needs of women who are the dominant agricultural producers, traders and nutrition providers in many parts of Africa; (b) limited specialisation in production and inadequate significance of any one country or of the region to influence global markets; (c) unclear definition of roles among the public, private and civil society institutions in development; (d) poor harmonisation of agricultural development promoting initiatives at national, sub-regional and continental levels; (e) inability to systematically mobilise savings for reinvestment; (f) disengagement from or poor performance of cash crops that were formerly important for rural incomes.

Other impediments that should be corrected if the environment is to be enabling are in Text box 2; Text box 3 lists some specific measures that could be taken; agriculture-relevant elements highlighted by the G-8 in their Africa Action Plan (many of which relate to of the enabling environment rather than to action) are in Annex 2.

A particularly thorny element of the enabling environment in many countries is the issue of accessing and controlling land. In Southern Africa, where the land holding structure remains profoundly inequitable, improvements in the condition of the rural poor will depend on increased access to land; here programmes of fair, orderly and consensual land reform may be essential preconditions for sustainable agricultural development. In other parts of Africa, the challenge will be to ensure that poor people continue to control their land in the face of pressures from outsiders who, so far, are in a better position to profit from market development. This includes ensuring that women - the principal users of land - develop stronger rights over the land they work. There will be need to promote security of access by the poor, individually and in communities, in all areas where the rural poor perceive emerging livelihood threats.

Text Box 3: Creating a Positive Environment for Agricultural Development: possible NEPAD Principles

  1. Establish and maintain a sound macroeconomic policy framework and an open economy based on continued and enhanced economic reforms, liberalised exchange and trade systems and investment regimes, strengthened institutional, legal and regulatory systems, reformed state institutions that operate with transparency, accountability, competence and professionalism, and the rule of law.

  2. Ensure efficient physical infrastructure through regulatory reforms, privatisation, and additional investments in key infrastructure (including road/rail transport, telecommunications, power, ports, shipping and transit facilities), harness modern information and communications technology, and encourage private sector participation in infrastructure financing and operation.

  3. Encourage and promote the growth, diversification, and deepening of the financial sector so as to facilitate savings mobilisation to meet the investment and working capital requirements of business, within the context of a deregulated but prudentially supervised system of financial intermediation.

  4. Removing obstacles to cross-border trade and investment, including harmonising tax and investment codes to promote regional integration.

  5. Undertake measures to enhance the entrepreneurial, managerial and technical capacities of the private sector.

  6. Strengthen national and sub-regional mechanisms for investment and trade promotion by disseminating information about business opportunities, identifying and targeting prospective investors and export markets, servicing investors, and providing export credit and insurance schemes.

  7. Strengthen chambers of commerce, trade and professional associations, and regional networks to provide market information and training for their members, in order to promote exports and investment.

  8. Organise dialogue between government and private sector to develop a shared vision of economic development strategy and remove constraints to private sector development.

  9. Strengthen and encourage the growth of micro, small, and medium-scale industries through appropriate technical support from service institutions and civil society, and improve industries' access to capital by strengthening micro-financing schemes, with particular attention to women entrepreneurs.

  10. Provide assistance to improve technical and managerial capabilities of business enterprises by supporting technology acquisition, production improvements, and training and skills development.

Source: Working for household food security and economic prosperity in Africa. National Department of Agriculture (South Africa) on behalf of NEPAD Secretariat. [First NEPAD provisional agriculture strategy paper - presented at 22nd FAO Regional Conference for Africa, Cairo, February 3 - 8, 2002 and later updated].

1.8. Pillars for Priority Investment

The picture of African agriculture portrayed earlier speaks of crisis. It also demands crisis response, hence the proposed initiatives under the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as currently formulated focus on investment into three "pillars" that can make the earliest difference to Africa's agricultural crisis - land and water management (Chapter 2); infrastructure and trade-related capacities for improved market access (Chapter 3); and support to productivity-increasing activity among small farmers in the context of food security programmes (Chapter 4). The long-term capacity to maintain competitiveness by ensuring high productivity is to be ensured by research and development, allied with technology dissemination for widespread and effective adoption (Chapter 5).

1.8.1. Pillar 1: Land and Water Management

World-wide, the application of water and its managed use has been an essential factor in raising productivity of agriculture and ensuring predictability in outputs. Water is essential to bring forth the potential of the land and to enable improved varieties of both plants and animals to make full use of other yield-enhancing production factors. By raising productivity, water management (especially when combined with adequate soil husbandry) helps to ensure better production both for direct consumption and for commercial disposal, so enhancing the generation of necessary economic surpluses for uplifting rural economies.

Chapter 2 provides details about opportunities for Africa to capitalise on the existence of about 874 million hectares of Africa's land that is considered suitable for agricultural production, including increasing the managed use of water. It reports that the current area under managed water and land development totals some 12.6 million ha6, equivalent to only some 8 percent of the total arable land. Currently, the percentage of arable land that is irrigated is barely 3.7 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 7 percent for all Africa, given that 40 percent of the total irrigated area is in North Africa. These are the lowest percentages in the developing world: the corresponding percentages are 10, 29 and 41 for South America, East and South-East Asia and South Asia respectively. The chapter calls for increased investment in land and water and makes the point that protecting and improving water and the soil makes good business sense. It indicates that by making possible rapid increase in production, irrigation can make food more readily available but that its impact on reducing hunger depends on appropriate arrangements for the poor to have access to irrigated lands. It also makes the point that while increased irrigation is not a panacea for all agricultural ills, irrigation nevertheless makes possible other opportunities for agricultural growth such as better husbandry of soils and resources in general, and makes more worthwhile the use of fertilisers, improved plant varieties, and upgraded infrastructure.

The chapter gives projections of investments required for land and water development until 2015 into: (i) small-scale irrigation developments, including small-scale informal irrigation, humid lowland developments, as well as land improvement activities (14.2 million ha); (ii) upgrading and rehabilitation of existing large-scale irrigation systems (3.6 million ha); and (iii) development of new, large-scale schemes (1.9 million ha). Chapter 2 reports the investment requirement of some US$37 billion (Appendix Table 1)7. Of thus, the immediate investment requirements (2002-2005) are estimated at US$9.9 billion, short term investment requirements (2006-2010) are US$20.1 billion and medium term requirements (2011-2015) are US$6.8 billion (Table 10). In addition, operation and maintenance requirements8 for all categories of land and water improvement total some US$31 billion by the year 2015.

To make the greater production that irrigation and land improvement make possible worthwhile, other investments are necessary in infrastructure and facilitation of market development and access - Chapter 3 gives estimated requirements for this. The application context for irrigation and land husbandry so that they can help uplift the poor is provided by Chapter 4, which presents community-oriented programmes for food security.

1.8.2. Pillar 2: Rural Infrastructure and Trade-related Capacities for Improved Market access


Chapter 3 deals with complementary investments in rural infrastructure, particularly rural roads, storage, processing and market facilities, that will be required to support the anticipated growth in agricultural production and improve competitiveness of production, processing or trade in crop, livestock, forestry or fishery sub-sectors. Information on infrastructure is poor for all sub-sectors but perhaps particularly so for livestock, except where this activity is highly commercialised as in South Africa and parts of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Dualism in access to infrastructure is notable, with industrial production far better served than the artisanal part whether in crops, livestock fisheries or forestry.

Africa's rural infrastructure is inadequate by almost any measure and its road network is particularly underdeveloped. Africa's people face the longest distances to nearest large markets. A rapid look at the overall scene compared to other regions reveals the following: (a) a fifth of Africa's population is landlocked - all other regions have less than 10 percent; (b) less than a third of Africans live within 100 km of the sea compared to over 40 percent for other developing regions; (c) rail freight in Africa is under 2 percent of the world total, marine freight capacity 11 percent, and air freight less than 1 percent; (d) power generation capacity per capita in Africa is less than half of that in either Asia or Latin America. The poor state of Africa's infrastructure reflects neglect of investment but also the fact that the level of production cannot often justify the required investment and maintenance costs. External investment in economic infrastructure9 in the period between 1990 and 1996 for Sub-Saharan Africa had US$26.7 billion compared to US$41.4 billion for Latin America and the Caribbean and US$101.9 billion for Asia, of which some US$71.9 billion for East Asia alone.

Further details on infrastructure and its absolute and comparative inadequacy are in Chapter 3, including regarding marine and air port infrastructure which is inadequate partly Africa has too little trade that could justify necessary investments. The chapter calls for priority to be given to the recovery of the current degraded stock of rural infrastructure to its full operational capacity and for institutional support for capacity building and training in support of all levels and types of institutions10 responsible for the planning, design, construction and continuing operation, maintenance and management of infrastructure.

Trade-related capacities for improved market access

Africa's share of overall world trade is insignificant and continues to decline. According to a recent G -8 report11, Africa's exports account for only 1.6 percent of global trade despite Africa having 13 percent of the population. In agriculture, the share of Africa in world exports has dropped steadily, from 8 percent in 1971 -1980 to some 3.4 percent in 1991-2000. These numbers are causes for concern in that if it continues to matter so little economically, it will continue to be hard for Africa to be taken seriously in any sphere of international affairs; furthermore, these numbers suggest that Africa is in no position to influence world prices - it must be a price taker for most of what it exports, including in agricultural trade.

Reversing the decline in Africa's share of international trade will require increased efforts by the African countries, with the assistance of the international community, to alleviate their domestic supply-side constraints. These can broadly be divided into structural constraints, which are particularly prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa and concern their high dependence on a limited number of export commodities, weak technological capacities, inadequate legal and regulatory institutional frameworks and insufficient transport, storage and marketing infrastructure, and policy-induced constraints resulting from trade and macroeconomic policies that have biased the structure of incentives against agriculture and exports.

Chapter 3 refers to Africa's failure to gain from globalisation; to severe competition from industrial countries where total subsidies to agriculture (by OECD countries) were estimated at over US$311 billion apart from direct export subsidies on agricultural products totalling some US$14 billion; to dominance of developed country market opportunities for African agricultural exports12; continuing difficulties with conditions of access despite progress made in the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements; to generally low and declining prices for unprocessed products that dominate Africa's exports; and Africa's difficulties in meeting technical standards for export products, in the context of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). It also recognises that trade access also requires strengthening of supply-side capability in African countries, without which they cannot take advantage of new trading opportunities.

With regard to intra-Africa trade in particular, constraints are also outlined, including inadequate physical infrastructure, unstable market opportunities related to production variability, relatively small markets, lack of current market information and trading skills, uncertain policy environments, and rapidly changing trade regulations. Given the hurdles Africa would continue to face in global markets, regional integration may, despite its challenges, be an important way forward for African countries and can be a learning ground for more ambitious global trading if they can resolve the bottlenecks that constrain even the limited existing trade opportunities. Attention is given to improving African countries' trade-related capacities for better market access through a number of policy and institutional related themes including developed countries acting to improve access to their agricultural markets; building capacity in African countries for effective use of the multilateral trading system; strengthening food safety and quality control systems; and diversification of the production and export base from low value-added to high value-added products.

In addition to drawing attention to international trade challenges, Chapter 3 also refers to trade issues at local level, such as the low incentive for farmers to produce because sale is not remunerative.

Investment requirements

Investment requirements for rural infrastructure and trade-related capacities for improved market access are a function of more general socio-economic demands, in addition to underpinning the increased agricultural production. However, a substantial proportion of the existing rural road network is in a poor operational condition and, consequently, investments will have to include the rehabilitation of existing stock, as well as the construction of new works and overall maintenance.

The investment requirements in rural infrastructure and other support to trade-related capacities for improved market access amount to some US$94 billion. In addition, associated recurrent operation and maintenance requirements13 are estimated to total by the year some US$37 billion, broken down by purpose and year in Tables 17 and 18. Of the US$94 billion total, immediate investment requirements (2002-2005) - excluding operations and maintenance costs - would amount to some US$23 billion, while short-term requirements (2006-2010) would amount to some US$37 billion and medium-term requirements (2011-2015) would total some US$33 billion (Table 2). One set of scenarios of apportionment of funding among the private and public, internal and external sources is given in Tables 20 and 21.

1.8.3. Pillar No 3: Increasing Food Supply and Reducing Hunger

For long, hunger has remained widespread in Africa. Despite gains in some countries, hunger remains a major peril for far too many people, with many adverse consequences for health and productivity of the population, so reinforcing poverty. In Africa as elsewhere, the poorest and the most hungry tend to be one and the same people, living on the margin of survival and highly vulnerable to any shock. There is no doubt that eventually Africa will develop a diversified agricultural sector with commercial as well as smallholder farming. In the short-term, however, the need is for an immediate impact on the livelihoods and food security of the rural poor through raising their own production. Chapter 4 presents approaches to making an immediate impact on farmers' livelihoods through agriculture. It covers two things: (a) the need for Africa to deal with food security in the short-term perspective of disaster-induced food and agricultural emergencies; (b) provision of safety nets; and (c) food security through enhancement of production.

Africa can itself do much to attain a higher level of food security but there is need for partnerships with other developing as well as industrialised countries and the multilateral system. Within countries, successful action requires partnerships among communities, governments and the private sector.

Emergency-Related Food Security

Far too often, there is need for preparedness in Africa in the context of emergency-related food security. The number, scale and intensity of emergencies in Africa have all been increasing due to both natural disasters (especially droughts and floods) and human-caused calamities including civil strife and conflict. Wars and related factors have become the single most serious cause of food insecurity in much of the region.

Large numbers of Africans are displaced within or outside national borders by wars and productive lands are frequently flooded or rendered barren by drought; such extreme events can reverse overnight long-term agricultural development gains. Therefore, in looking at Africa's immediate needs for agricultural renewal, it is absolutely essential that the emergencies be kept in mind. The weakness of economies and of its institutions place Africa at a great disadvantage when calamity strikes. Thus, given its high indebtedness and current account deficit, Africa is obliged by emergency-related needs to divert its very scarce resources to food imports - it does so at a cost to investment in its future; Africa is a continent that is consuming without being able to create assets for the future. Therefore to ignore the emergency dimension would be a disservice to securing stable agricultural development in the region - Chapter 4 has a section on this area of need.

Associated with response to emergencies and their aftermath should be the creation of targeted safety nets by governments aimed at broadening access to food for persons who do not have the means of increasing their own food supplies, such as school children.

Safety Nets for the Food Insecure

Africa has many vulnerable groups; true food security will require targeted attention to their needs. Apart from those exposed to emergencies, attention is needed to the disabled, children, pregnant women and others. Safety net initiatives to cover their needs include feeding programmes (such as for schools); food for work; food for training; mother-child nutrition or combinations of these, as indicated in Chapter 4.

Improvement of production

Food security can also be secured through improvement of production. The third part of Chapter 4 presents one approach towards promoting vigorous large-scale community-based programmes to improve the performance of small farms throughout the continent. It draws mainly upon the example set by the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), launched by FAO as a means of achieving and sustaining a higher level of household and national food security. In each country, the SPFS (or similar national framework) is planned within the broader vision of a National Strategy for Food Security and Agricultural Development. Thus the SPFS approach complements and builds upon already existing strategies and programmes for agricultural development and food security developed by African governments and regional organisations. It is implemented in two interrelated Phases. As detailed in Chapter 4, Phase I aims at enabling households and communities to attain higher levels of food security and better livelihoods, initially on a pilot scale but quickly followed by progressive scaling up. Phase II addresses food security issues at national level through creating an enabling policy and institutional environment for food security and supporting the preparation of bankable projects.

The SPFS approach promotes the view that food security does not mean just subsistence food sufficiency but also implies addressing the other underlying causes of persistent rural poverty. Thus, while it may appear to emphasise production, this is not in exclusion of demand considerations in that the incentive for continuing output growth is the "market". The approach also respects economic fundamentals: African production must be competitive as it makes little sense to have high cost products whose markets are easily undermined by cheaper imports. For this reason, SPFS-type interventions need complementary investments in infrastructure, water and land management that can boost yields, reduce unit production costs and contain the costs of storage, transport and marketing - themes which are covered in Chapters 2 and 3. The approach seeks to reduce both weather-related and other environmental risks as well as economic risks, all of which have a significant depressing impact on the level of private investment in the agricultural sector.

Chapter 4 recognises that raising the output of the small farmer sector depends on the decisions of millions of households throughout the continent and, in such a situation, the role of governments should be to provide a policy and incentive framework that is conducive to agricultural growth. With this in place, much of the investment in raising production will be made by the farmers themselves. Experience to date suggests average public sector costs of ensuring food security for a small farm household of US$500 with a variable breakdown in the range of some US$350-400 per family for on-farm investments; some US$35-85 for off-farm support, including technical services and policy reform; and a furtherUS$65 equivalent per family for complementary food security investments at a regional level.

National programmes can benefit from complementary food security interventions at regional level that can facilitate trade-related capacities for improved market access, the development of common standards and the diagnosis and control of transboundary pests and diseases. Some of the market issues are dealt with in greater detail in Chapter 3. Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS) offer measures to expand intra-regional trade and competitiveness in external markets, to assist in creating improved conditions for the sustainable growth of agriculture, including through trade facilitation, harmonisation of policies and underpinning of national SPFS, especially in areas of accelerated technology development and information, to ensure sustainable use of cross-boundary natural resources, to provide for control of transboundary pests and diseases. Regional co-operation in support of food security is an area where NEPAD, in close collaboration with Regional Economic Organisations, can make significant early contributions.

For Africa, the intention to increase food supply and reduce hunger adopted in Chapter 4 would raise the performance of some 15 million rural households (affecting the livelihoods of some 100 million people) by 2015 which would require some $7.5 billion. Of this, $6.5 billion would be for national level and $1 billion for regional action programmes14. The effectiveness of such programmes for on-farm development or related improvements at community level is dependent on the investments proposed in productive and transport and communications infrastructure in Chapters 2 and 3 of this document.

1.8.4. Pillar No 4: Agricultural Research, Technology Dissemination and Adoption

Chapter 5 "Agricultural Research, Technology Dissemination and Adoption" represents a departure from the focus of the other chapters on the need to immediately regain production; it presents instead an area of intervention for long-term gain. In Africa as elsewhere in the world, agriculture will need a scientific and technological underpinning if it is to have sustained productivity gains necessary to remain competitive. The chapter reviews the difficult situation of agriculture: falling productivity, low spending on research and development; inefficiency of ongoing research in reaching the farmer; the need for reform towards sustainable research and its funding at national, sub-regional and regional levels; integrating technology adoption; strengthening institutions.

To avert food insecurity and reduce poverty, African leaders have set a target to increase agricultural output by 6 percent a year for the next 20 years. At present, many countries barely achieve 1 percent annual growth in output and some are regressing. Without technological upgrading and adoption, even large-scale investment would soon perform sub-optimally and fail to gain for Africa the success it needs.

Achieving a 3 percent annual growth rate will require: (a) acceleration of adoption for the most promising available technologies so as to support immediate improvement of African production by way of linking, more efficiently, research and extension systems to producers; (b) technology delivery systems that quickly bring innovations to farmers and agribusinesses so making increased adoption possible, notably through an appropriate use of new information and communication technologies; (c) renewing the ability of agricultural research systems to efficiently and effectively generate and adapt to Africa new knowledge and technologies, including biotechnology, needed to increase output and productivity while conserving the environment; and (d) mechanisms that reduce the costs and risks of adopting new technologies. To do this requires several lines of action, of which the following may be highlighted:

The goal is to double the current annual spending on agricultural research in Africa within 10 years. In essence, this would amount to annual investments of some US$1.6 billion for the period till 2015.

The proposed NEPAD research programme would be comprised of four sub themes which would collectively contribute to testing the central hypothesis: "that conservation and efficiency of use of soil and other natural resources will be optimised under conditions of market and/or policy and institution driven productivity". The four research themes are:

In addition, there is to be a crosscutting initiative:

Underlying the inclusion of the chapter on research is the key message that in pursuing immediate responses to its agricultural crisis, Africa cannot afford to be short-sighted: it must keep an eye on factors essential for its continuing long-term competitiveness and productivity.

1.9. Investment Levels and Strategies

There is renewed recognition that financing agriculture is essential in national development of low-income countries. In industrial countries, despite agriculture being a minor contributor to overall economic production, governments have always provided sustained support to the sector and the level of subsidies for it and for farm exports remain high.

An example of renewed strong support for funding agriculture in developing countries is the recent intervention of Mr Andrew Natsios, the Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Speaking in March 2002 at the recent International Conference on Financing for Development (ICFfD) in Monterrey, Mexico, Mr Natsios stressed the vital importance of funding agricultural development15. Recalling that with few exceptions agriculture had been the engine driving development in all economically successful countries, he regretted that agriculture had been "basically de-funded by virtually all of donor aid agencies and all of the international banks over the last 15 years." He called this "perhaps the most devastating mistake made by the northern countries and the international financial institutions in the last 15 years", adding that many developing countries "...have not graduated because we've stopped investing in agriculture. All of the studies show that all of this growth in the economy is driven by agricultural production. And so, we need to do more in the agricultural sector". Mr Natsios reported that the US government has renewed commitment to reinvest in the agricultural sector "because it is absolutely essential for economic growth over the longer term"

1.9.1. Levels of Investment

The majority of African countries have been exposed to years of fiscal austerity programmes and often of failure to find alternative sources of income to replace declining revenues from weaker terms of trade in their traditional markets. Levels of both ODA and private finance have fallen in real terms: in 1990, Africa received 30 percent of global agricultural ODA, but its share declined to 21 percent in 1998. Moreover, the total flow of ODA to primary agriculture declined over the same period from US$11 billion to only US$7.4 billion. This lack of funding has contributed not only to insufficient infrastructure construction but also to a lack of appropriate maintenance - hence there are also substantial needs for rehabilitation.

The total estimated investment requirements for the NEPAD programme are summarised in Table 1, with details in Appendix Table 1 for all pillars. A notable feature is the significance of emergencies now and in the near future but also of infrastructure to create conditions for competitive agriculture. Table 2 breaks down the investment by time horizon into the immediate, short-term and medium term; Table 4 offers a plausible break down by source of investment.

1.9.2. Africa's own Investment

It is against a background of re-emerging international recognition of the importance of agriculture that Africa's own commitment to funding agriculture should be seen: if countries that can do without agriculture and still prosper are willing to continue financing it heavily, why should Africa, where  70 - 80 percent of the people depend on the sector, not do the same? Financing for agriculture under this NEPAD CAADP is therefore based on the double assumption that (a) Africa itself will increase its investment and (b) that its external partners will come forward and support it. With this in mind, attempts have been made to estimate what Africa itself can reasonably raise as investment, leaving the rest to be raised at the international level.

Basically, there is not enough information on which to base such estimates: African government statistics to show the breakdown into investment and operational funding are not collected in any one agency. The Anti-Hunger Programme16 estimates made recently are said to be the minimum amounts required to promote hunger reduction through agricultural development in Africa and they exclude the cost of programmes to promote direct access to food.

Given the special needs of Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, the Anti-Hunger Programme has set a minimum amount of US$4.6 billion per year as additional requirement, to be additional resources be allocated to Sub-Saharan Africa as follows:

The above sums ignore African private sector investments, which are also not well documented. It is reasonable under the circumstances to report what Africa is likely to raise. Instead, one can present what it would mean if Africa raised specified ratios of the total needs. The assumptions made for the African public and private sector investments are in Table 3; the funding levels that result from this scenario are given in Table 4. It may be noted that the share for the foreign private sector is initially very low due to continuing perceptions of high risk in the continent. It should be noted that the ratios given are averages; in reality, certain activities such as disaster relief and similar will initially be almost entirely externally funded.

1.9.3. Public versus Private Investments

Estimates of the likely distribution of financing between public and private sources must remain, at this stage, highly conjectural and will require specific country conditions to be taken into account; Table 3 represents one set of assumptions and Table 4 its results. As said elsewhere, detailed breakdowns between public and private sector would almost certainly show contrasts among the areas of investment. For water and land development, the public sector is expected to take the lead, as also for rural infrastructure. The estimated cost of increasing food supplies (US$7.5 billion) would also be mainly a charge to the public sector but would be matched by considerable farmer contribution. The total incremental investment requirement would therefore amount to about US$15.7 billion per year between 2002 and 2015 (including operations and maintenance), thus drawing upon both national public and private resources and upon international co-operation, in line with the Monterrey commitments on financing for development.

As elsewhere in the world, most African development investments will occur at national level; this is expected to continue. However, there is growing recognition that some issues require regional approaches. Therefore, the implementation of the NEPAD programme will also be undertaken in co-operation with Regional Economic Organisations. Detailed investment projects will have to be prepared at national and regional levels, with FAO support where this is needed.

1.9.4. Partnerships

References to public and private investments might be viewed as proposing separation of action. In fact Africa will need complementary action by many parties and the key to success will be partnerships for success. If, as recently as a decade ago, governments in the Region saw themselves as the prime motors of economic development, today there is increasing recognition by the governments themselves that their direct role in economic activities is a more limited, though at the same time more strategically important in creating conditions for growth. It is a role which is focused particularly on the key area of establishing the policy, legal and institutional framework which enables the private sector to play the leading role in economic development, and in selectively investing in key public goods which will catalyse broad-based economic growth. This requires that governments in the Region increasingly establish strategic partnerships with a range of partners to achieve their development objectives, and that their investments are targeted particularly at reducing transaction costs both in public service and in the market place.

The main players in ensuring broad-based economic growth are smallholder producers themselves. Agricultural production services must not only effectively target smallholder producers, but must ensure that the services provided respond to the constraints they face and opportunities open to them. At the same time, there is need to strengthen the capacity of smallholder producers to define and articulate their requirements in terms of services; organise themselves to better access inputs, produce markets and production services and conduct their own agricultural experimentation; establish a strong voice for themselves in the policy and institution-building process. Supporting the development of producer groups associations is a crucial part of such an approach.

The private sector - beyond the small-scale producer - is also a key partner. The large-scale formal private sector - particularly agri-business, is in a number of countries of the Region probably the major development partner for smallholder producers. Future progress depends on a broad-based and equitable expansion of these relations - something that will only happen on the basis of mutual interest. The commercial private sector wants to make money. It can do so - and at the same time help poor farmers make more money, if it expands its commercial relations into a realm of self-organised smallholders who are aware of market options. More and more governments in Africa recognise the crucial role that the private sector must play, and are willing to undertake investments - in policies, institution-building as well in infrastructure - which reduce the transaction costs that the private sector faces in doing business with smallholder producers.

NGOs are increasingly recognised as having specialised skills in areas of crucial importance for promoting rural development - particularly in `soft' areas such as participatory planning, capacity building, group development, etc. More and more governments in the Region are willing to work in partnership with suitably experienced NGOs operating as service providers: such arrangements are expected to be further strengthened in the future.

Partnerships in today's world also involve the donor community. Such partnerships must be built on respect by donors for the sovereignty of the countries involved, and by an explicit recognition that it is the governments of those countries which must co-ordinate the support and activities of the donors, within a consistent sect oral policy and strategic framework.

Partnerships exist not only at the national level; and indeed one of the areas in which NEPAD can add value is in supporting the development of two-way or larger partnerships across the continent - among national governments, sub-regional organisations, national farmers associations, and NGOs and private sector organisations in different parts of the continent. Such partnerships can provide the opportunity for lessons learnt in one location to be applied in another; the exchange of technologies, approaches and institutional arrangements; and the promotion of investment within and across the continent.

1.10. Impacts

While benefits arising from investments in rural infrastructure and major water and land developments as well as those in research and development will clearly need some time to materialise, in terms of impact on productivity, agricultural growth and consequent poverty reduction, of accelerated production programmes for food security and the rehabilitation and development of small-scale irrigation systems will be more immediate. If these are deliberately linked to programmes for reducing chronic hunger, they will bring about rapid improvements in nutrition and hence in the productive potential of the population. When it materialises, the impact of the rural infrastructure and trade-related capacities for improved market access programme will, however, be significant through its mitigation of the current constraints placed on the region's competitiveness by geography and the difficulty of accessing markets. Other direct benefits will arise, in the short- and medium-term, through the construction of rural infrastructure - stimulating output and employment, promoting domestic market activity and market integration, and facilitating access to regional international markets.

In order to have an immediate impact on hunger, these production-related investments need to be complemented by targeted safety nets and measures to address food emergencies. A school-feeding programme based mainly on community-managed school gardens for 100 million children, for instance, would cost US$2-3 billion and there is ample shared experience among FAO, IFAD and WFP in implementing such programmes. Provision of safety nets is important in allowing the weak and vulnerable to participate in long-term development.

1.11. Moving from Dialogue to Action

With the CAADP endorsed by sector ministers at their Rome meeting on 9th June 2002, its operationalisation must now take centre stage. The approach to converting the broad themes of the CAADP into practical action and investment requires a different process than the preparation of the document itself. The ideas offered here are only in outline and carry only informal status. In essence, NEPAD offers Africa new opportunities to move forward with agricultural development, placing this sector at the forefront of economic and social progress. To succeed, NEPAD will above all need to harness the commitment and energies of its member countries but also to attract the support of its partners, both traditional and new. It is essential that efforts mobilised early and are focused on key opportunities that can yield the largest gains; also that the selected priorities have potential to touch the lives of large numbers of Africa's poor and hungry.

A primary need appears to be greater publicity for the CAADP and constituency building for it. Although the process of preparing the document has involved seeking comments from and a review meeting for senior government officials, ministers, and regional economic groupings, ignorance about NEPAD programmes remains widespread among large swathes of civil society and the private sector. Furthermore, within Africa's governments, the NEPAD process in agriculture is currently better known to officials at the top in ministries of agriculture, external affairs and the presidency from where officials have been most involved with NEPAD. Still excluded from dialogue are the ministries responsible for planning and budget, which will in the end create the budget lines for the required increased agricultural investments to meet NEPAD goals.

In view of this, the primary step for operationalisation of NEPAD agriculture must be building a constituency and ownership for itself. A concerted publicity campaign is needed, using the most appropriate media for the various sub-regions and societal groups in Africa. In addition, the holding of a series of consultations at continental, sub-regional, and national levels is a prerequisite for developing the sense of ownership and generating the interest necessary for success. The primary targets would be national governments, regional and sub-regional economic organisations (including development banks), the commercial private sector, civil society, and donors. Such meetings, both custom-designed and opportunistically organised to take advantage of other meetings, would sell the "value-added" of NEPAD above and beyond national programmes; explain what type of programmes could carry the NEPAD label; how they could be processed without a stifling and inefficient centralisation; what steps would be needed to raise significant funding from within Africa (both public and private); how to monitor implementation; and what roles the countries and their internal constituencies should play.

The consultations would also provide fora for interpreting the main CAADP pillars into specific priorities for Africa's diverse national, sub-regional and all-Africa realities; for agreeing on necessary balance between systemic interventions (non-project policy and institutional changes that create enabling conditions or capacity to execute actions) and project interventions requiring investment. Following the building of a constituency, there will be four critical needs:

Given that NEPAD has fundamentally political origins, it may prove important to ensure collective ministerial oversight and support arrangements for its programmes in agriculture. The Rome meeting of African Ministers of Agriculture on 9th June 2002 recommended that "That the NEPAD Steering Committee, operating through the initiating country responsible for agriculture - currently Egypt - establish a committee to follow-up this Ministerial Meeting in order to provide political oversight, monitor the implementation of CAADP and to facilitate the engagement of all countries in the future NEPAD developments on agriculture." It may be noted that that meeting also saw the need "To devise a concerted strategy involving the Ministers for Agriculture, Finance and Planning for raising the funding of agriculture and rural development in order to enhance the proper funding of NEPAD agriculture-related programmes" - a function that could be adopted by the ministerial forum whose establishment was recommended. Text Box 4 summarises governance issues for the agricultural issues under NEPAD.

Text Box 4: Governance and Consultative Forum Initiatives for African Agriculture

African agriculture is diverse and complex. Furthermore, since the time most African countries obtained their independence during the 1960s, the agricultural sector has been heavily dependent on external funding and technical assistance, in some cases with strings that constrain freedom of manoeuvre in policy-making and action. These factors have made it extremely difficult to have a common platform for developing African owned and managed regional or continent-wide programmes. There are many initiatives for governance and consultation within the sector - the dispersion of efforts which this leads to denies the agricultural sector a strong lobbying and policy harmonisation mechanism-at national, regional and continental levels.

The NEPAD process provides a golden opportunity for a common agricultural policy framework across the continent, which would address this problem. Given the political will demonstrated at the highest levels of state and government, NEPAD can also provide the much needed policy environment for strategic action-oriented approaches, while recognising the importance of continuous monitoring of the progress made and impact achieved at country-level.

The existence of several regional economic organisations and many major international rivers like the Nile, Congo, Niger, Limpopo, Senegal, Zambezi, etc., provide a further impetus for inter-country co-operation on joint agricultural programmes and projects in selected agro-ecological zones. Collaboration among countries such as those participating in the Nile River Basin Initiative can maximise synergies and potential spillovers in technology generation and methodology development. Successful technical co-operation on such a large scale will require strong political commitment and constant inter-country dialogue at the policy level between and among the participating countries. Strong political commitment is even much more crucial for success in continent wide programmes.

However, the agricultural portfolio is organised differently in different countries - even in those that belong to the same economic grouping. The dispersed efforts deny the agricultural sector a strong lobbying and policy harmonisation mechanism-at national, regional and continental levels.

Apart from the Western and Central African Conference for ministers of agriculture, the FAO biennial Regional Conference for Africa is the only international forum available to Ministers responsible for the Agricultural Sector to meet regularly as a group to discuss regional issues. Nevertheless in those countries where more than one Ministry is responsible for the sector only one or two of the Ministers attend the Regional Conference. It is therefore gratifying that as part of the NEPAD process the 22nd Session of the FAO Regional Conference in Cairo (February 2002) supported a recommendation in an earlier version of this document to establish a forum of African Ministers of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

In addition there should be a Permanent Standing Committee, consisting of Senior Officials, for each of the sub-sectors of agriculture, forestry and fisheries or the three pillars of the agricultural sector, namely, (i) research and technology development; (ii) economics and trade; and (iii) rural development. The Committees should meet regularly and report to the Ministers on major emerging issues with policy implications.

Source: Working for household food security and economic prosperity in Africa. National Department of Agriculture (South Africa) on behalf of NEPAD Secretariat. [First NEPAD provisional agriculture strategy paper - presented at 22nd FAO Regional Conference for Africa, Cairo, February 3 - 8, 2002 and later updated].

Being a political process involving many countries also requires that commonly accepted arrangements be developed for assessing progress and judging success so that there can be full transparency and accountability to the political leadership in NEPAD and related mechanisms.

The NEPAD Secretariat, working on specific steps that could be considered to achieve success in developing agriculture, has developed the elements of national, sub-regional, regional and international actions in Annex 3. The Annex also lists key issues to be considered in implementing the CAADP.

4 A minor exception is Chapter 5 on research and technology which outlines five uncosted projects.

5 IFAD Strategy for rural poverty reduction in Western and Central Africa:

6 FAO. 2000. Agriculture Towards 2015/30 estimates.

7 A breakdown of areas and associated investment estimates by Regional Economic Organization is shown in Table 8 (Chapter 2). No totals for Africa should be derived from the Regional Economic Organizations' totals since country membership overlaps, with some countries belonging to two or three organizations, in particular SADC and COMESA; and ECOWAS and UEMOA which have a very high multiple country membership.

8 Including allowances for both institutional strengthening and the recurrent costs of the organisations responsible for operation and maintenance.

9 Including communications, energy, transport, water, sanitation. Sources: UNCED Secretariat; Euromoney 1997/98 Annual report.

10 Ranging from central to local level and decentralized government entities, representative bodies, private sector actors, NGOs and CBOs, etc.

11 G8 Africa Action Plan Highlights. Kananaskis Summit, Canada 26-27 June, 2002:

12 Currently receiving more than 70 percent of African agricultural exports.

13 Including allowances for both institutional strengthening and the recurrent costs of the organisations responsible for operation and maintenance.

14 The distribution of costs between regions is based on country-level data on the number of undernourished, given in the FAO Report "The State of Food Insecurity 2001".

15 US Agency for International Development (USAID). News Conference at the International Conference on Financing for Development by USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios. Monterrey, 21 March 2002.

16 FAO. Reducing Hunger through agricultural and rural development and wider access to food. Draft paper for the proposed Anti-Hunger Programme. World Food Summit: five years later. Rome.

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