NONE State Actors (NSA) in the country have advocated for increased budget allocation by the government to the agriculture sector as per the Malabo declaration.
The stakeholders made the call in Dodoma during the just concluded virtual call meeting on “How the media can strengthen accountability and use of Biennial Review result” – ahead of the third Biennial Review BR 3 launch.
The meeting was organised by ActionAid Tanzania and its partners, with support from the African Union, AU. It aimed at developing a common advocacy agenda for evidence-based agricultural policymaking and programming that would cast broad light on the progress of the implementation of the Malabo Commitments.
Physical participants were drawn from across the AU Member States covered under ActionAid’s Scaling up Public Investment in Agriculture projects in Tanzania, while other participants across the continent were connected via zoom.
Speaking at the meeting, participants, mostly women drawn from different regions countrywide under the auspices of Small-holder Women Farmers Forum (SWFF), said there was a need for the government to push for better public financing for the agriculture sector in the country.
Shem Uleje from Mtwara region challenged the government to strategize on how to utilize agricultural research data and constructively engage the government towards meeting the 2014 Malabo declaration on Agricultural financing.
“The findings should also be distributed to the district councils and village governments to assist farmers obtain information on where to produce and sell their produce,” she noted.
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) through the Malabo Declaration focuses on the need to transform agricultural sector in the continent in order to meet countries to meet the objectives of the Malabo Declaration commitments by 2025 that requires African countries to allocate at least 10 percent of its national budget to the agriculture sector.
The review meeting with the theme: “Strengthening Accountability and Utilization of the biennial review reports – Count Down to BR3 launch”, sought to remind AU Heads of State and Government in June, 2014 at Malabo, of the commitment to the adopted CAADP principles, to provide effective leadership for the attainment of specific goals by the year 2025, including ending hunger, tripling intra-African trade in agricultural goods and services, among other goals. That outcome had become popularly known as the Malabo declaration.
Addressing participants during the online meeting, the International Project manager, Public Financing for Agriculture (PFA), ActionAid-International, Constance Okeke, noted that part of the objective of the meeting was to enable nongovernmental actors: Civil Society Organizations, farmer groups and the media share results and experiences, as well as ask questions with the view to achieving the African union Agricultural target for 2025.
Ms Okeke, further observed that the media was an indispensable partner in achieving Africa’s comprehensive Agricultural project, charged journalists and other media partners to be relentless in creating awareness and monitoring results of Agricultural programs of their countries to ensure that reported data conforms with reality on ground.
At the meeting, the Scaling up Public Investment Agriculture (SUPIA) Project Coordinator of ActionAid Tanzania, Joram Wimmo said availability of markets would create job opportunities among youth in agricultural value chains, attract women and youth to engaged in agri-business sector and increase food security and reduce poverty.
“This will also lay the groundwork and pathways to trigger continental and national actions, programs to collectively drive agricultural transformation in Africa and Tanzania at large,” he noted.