March 30, 2023

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Transforming agriculture in Africa: African governments and partners urged to boost investment, boost spending – The Economy

With Africa home to more than one meal a day, senior African and world leaders gathered at a high-level roundtable on Friday, January 27, to share their views on “policies to transform African agriculture.” To feed the Africans. The session was organized on the third and final day of the Dakar 2 Summit on Food and Agriculture in Africa.

“How can policymakers best support African agriculture in the face of climate change? How can political and institutional environments be made more favorable to attract potential partnerships in agriculture? What is the role of governments in formalizing jobs and land reforms to make the agricultural sector more inclusive?”. These are all questions on which managers have shared their views.

“Innovative solutions are key to managing and solving the problems of food insecurity in Africa,” said Mr. Simeon Ehui said. According to him, it is necessary to increase public investment, reform policies and establish institutions to access the international market. His comments were echoed by Central Africa’s finance and budget minister, Hervé Ntoba, who said the increase in investment must be accompanied by an improvement in spending.

“Before increasing investments, mobilization of resources must be increased,” he said. “The resources are there. We have to capture them, we have to get them,” he continued to emphasize, for example, in the context of climate change and sustainable development, Africa, home to the world’s second green lung, is going to capture green finance.

Ali Saleh Diop, Minister of Livestock and Animal Production of Senegal, said the food issue is central to African countries, and governments must create the right institutional environment to foster competitive, resilient and sustainable agriculture. This requires implementation of strong agricultural policies. He pointed out that Senegal has adopted an agro-silvo-pastoral orientation law to create an institutional framework that allows all actors (farmers, breeders, fishers, processors, etc.) to face the effects of climate change. . A Grazing Code was adopted to take into account the needs of farmers and ranchers. The minister underlined that the private sector, the “engine of economic growth”, must be one for the development of African agriculture and that the government must support the establishment of infrastructure.

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Low loan rates

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abu Bakr Karim, said that people must be at the center of the development of African agriculture because ultimately the practice of agriculture is to feed man.

Speaking on the policies to develop the sector in Sierra Leone, he said the government has set a single digit policy rate by the central bank to allow commercial banks to lend to farmers at low cost.

“Access to finance is critical to implementing agricultural projects. But farmers and input distributors face difficulty in getting credit. Commercial banks are giving them double-digit credit,” said Karim, adding that his government is considering setting up an agricultural bank, or at least a bank conducive to agricultural loans.

“Access to quality inputs is important because if you don’t have good inputs suited to environmental conditions, there will be no yield”. To this end, Sierra Leone has set up a regulatory agency to provide quality inputs and seeds while developing research to increase agricultural productivity.

Coordination of Public-Private Sector Activities

Mr. Saqib Alge called on all African countries to invest heavily in the private sector. Governments to improve African agriculture and solve the food crisis. Emphasizing that Africa has no choice but to feed itself as the experience of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has shown that agribusinesses supply their country first before thinking about exporting, Saqib Alge noted that Morocco has improved its agricultural sector thanks to the joint efforts of the government. Private sector action. Within the framework of the Green Morocco project, Morocco has invested more than 10 billion dollars in agriculture in a decade, he said, increasing the share of the agricultural sector in the country’s GDP from 7 to 12 billion dollars. The private sector played a significant role in these decisions because, “of the 10 billion dollars, 60% was private investment and 40% came from the state. »

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“To free oneself firmly from the vicissitudes of the international market”

The African Union supports African countries to ensure their food sovereignty and is currently implementing measures to help them deal with various shocks related to climate change, the effects of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, assured Rural Agriculture Commissioner Josepha Sacco. Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment in the African Union Commission.

Christophe Guilho, Director of Sustainable Development at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said in a keynote speech opening the roundtable that France stands with African peoples and governments to achieve food sovereignty and resilience.

At the end of the discussions, participants were convinced that Dakar 3 – the next summit on agriculture and food – will be an opportunity to celebrate the great success of African creative genius. “Because Africa (has come) to feed itself and free itself firmly from the whims of the international market,” concluded Senegalese researcher Papa Abdoulaye Chek.