Maputo — KENYA is among several African countries that have failed to committed itself in the 2003 Maputo Declaration to spending 10 per cent of its national budget on agriculture.
According to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP),under the compacts agreed 10 years ago, countries were to commit to using 10 percent of their national budget for agricultural development and to ensure growth of the agricultural sector of six percent annually in order to reduce food insecurity and poverty, only nine countries had exceeded the targets .
But Kenya instead reduced the budget allocation to agriculture by 29 per cent in its 2013/2014 budget estimates.A total of Sh38.07 billion ($447 million) was allocated to address famine and turn farming into an income-generating business, compared with Sh53.3 billion (($627) allocated to the sector last year.The government however introduced more food security interventions. The report ranks Kenyas performance to below five percent.
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger and Senegal have exceeded this target and and most countries have made significant progress towards this goal.
CAADP also has an agricultural growth target of 6 per cent. To date nine countries have exceeded this target (Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania) and another four have achieved growth of between five and six per cent.
Speaking in Maputo during the 2013 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) through the invitation of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) yesterday, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) president Jane Karuku said there was need for governments to heed the call and make Africa agriculturally productive.
"Despite immense agricultural potential, Africa is a net importer of food. Over the last two decades, there has been progressive increase in food imports and it is now estimated that the continent imports over USD 22 billion worth of food annually," she said, "the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) is a forum bringing together African and international leaders and policy makers, development specialists, scientists, and representatives of agribusinesses and farmer organisations to discuss food and nutrition security and agricultural growth in Africa.
The aim of AGRF is to provide a critical and broad African platform to discuss policy and practice and harness initiatives and partnerships dedicated to ensuring food security, reducing poverty and spurring profitable and sustainable agriculture growth that will improve the lives of smallholder farmers across Africa