Agriculture

Zim misses agric benchmark

NDAMU SANDU

Zimbabwe fell short of the minimum 6.66 out of 10 score required for a country to be on track in implementing a continental policy to boost agriculture under the Malabo Declaration, a new report has shown.

The Malabo Declaration provides the direction for Africa’s agriculture transformation for the period 2015 – 2025, within the Framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as a vehicle to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the first 10-year Implementation Plan of Africa’s Agenda 2063.

According to a biennial review published this month, Zimbabwe had a score of 4.58 which was up 43% from the score recorded during the last review in 2017. Four out of 49 countries obtained or surpassed the benchmark of 6.66 to be on-track toward achieving the commitments of the Malabo Declaration by 2025. These are Rwanda (7.24), Morocco (6.96), Mali (6.82) and Ghana (6.67).

Under the Malabo Declaration, AU member states committed to report on a biennial basis, the progress in achieving the seven commitments of the Declaration—recommitting to the principles and values of the CAADP process; enhancing investment finance in agriculture; ending hunger in Africa by 2025; reducing poverty at least by half, by 2025, through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation and boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services.

Member States also committed themselves to enhance resilience of livelihoods and production systems to climate variability and other related risks; and strengthening mutual accountability to actions and results.

Under the recommitment to the principles and values of the CAADP process, Zimbabwe—alongside Namibia and Seychelles—had lower scores relative to their scores in the inaugural biennial review report.

Under the commitment to end hunger by 2025, Zimbabwe—alongside Eswatini, Morocco, Seychelles, Tunisia, Mauritius, and Nigeria—that were on track to meeting the access to agricultural advisory services.

Zimbabwe fared well under the continental target for bringing down the proportion of the population that is undernourished to 5% or less, by the year 2025. Zimbabwe had 0.1% of its population undernourished, Morocco (3.4%), Nigeria (2.6%) and Tunisia (4.7%).

The report said Southern Africa was not on track in any of the seven Malabo commitments in the 2019 biennial review despite the region being on track on four commitments in the inaugural biennial review. The average score was 4.27.

The report said member States with relatively good agricultural data management systems produced better reports for the biennial review process. It said aligning and implementing policies and programmes based on CAADP principles contribute to better performance of the countries (meeting the biennial targets set in the Malabo/CAADP process and agriculture sector performance) as depicted by the fact that five Member States (Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius and, South Africa) are on-track when it comes to implementing the CAADP Process.

“…openness to trade has contributed to good performance on intra-regional trade in the region (six countries are on-track; Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe),” the report said.

The average score for Central Africa was 3.22 which means the region was not in compliance with the benchmark.  West Africa was on-track in only one out of the seven commitments of Malabo, which is Intra-African Trade in Agricultural Commodities and Services. For this commitment, 14 out of the 15 ECOWAS Member States were on-track.

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