- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) says it is ready to implement Africa's "comprehensive agricultural development programme," which aims at taking the "Green revolution" to the continent. The programme, supported by donors and scientists, targets annual growth rates of six percent in the agricultural sector.
- Now is the time to take bold steps in implementing the comprehensive Africa agricultural development programme (CAADP) to fight poverty and food insecurity in Southern Africa, said Mozambique's new Minister of Agriculture, Tomas Mandlate. The Minister was officially opening a SADC conference on the programme and said that Southern Africa was now "more than ready" to start implementing the reform.
The agricultural development programme, launched by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), is a roadmap to greatly improve agricultural productivity throughout Africa. The programme was "developed through in-depth research and consultations with African policy-makers, international experts on agricultural development and donor governments," according to SADC.
Successful implementation of the programme is said to achieve an annual growth rate of six percent by 2015, while focusing on small-scale farmers and women. "It will also lead to more equitable distribution of wealth, sustainable management of natural resources and the integration of farmers into the market economy," according to SADC.
The four main thrusts of CAADP are expanding areas under sustainable land and water management, improving market access and infrastructure, increasing food supplies, reducing hunger and improving responses to food emergencies, as well as improving agricultural research and technology dissemination and adoption.
Yesterday, a SADC meeting over the implementation of the agricultural programmed opened in Maputo, the Mozambican capital. Minister, in his opening speech, held that the impact of the programme would greatly be improved if it is made more visible to the people of the region. "To ensure successful implementation, all stakeholders must be actively involved, from governments to the smallest entrepreneur," the Mozambican Minister said.
SADC Executive Secretary, Prega Ramsamy, commented that "everything in the [Southern African] region is in place" to implement the agricultural development programme and to reach its goal of overcoming poverty, according to a statement released by SADC today.
The Maputo meeting is the second of four implementation meetings to spur action. More than 150 delegates from African governments, the G8, technical agencies and regional and international organisations are focusing on an action-orientated process to implement CAADP.
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