Nairobi, Dec 5, 2009 – Agriculture is the key to Africa's economic
development and should be given the requisite support, says the
Vice-President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Mary Mugyenyi.
For Africa to effectively fight crippling poverty and ensure food
sufficiency, funding to the agricultural sector must be increased, she
told the ongoing Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
(CAADP) open forum in Nairobi Thursday.
Mugyenyi urged African governments to increase budgetary allocations to
the agriculture sector by 10 per cent, as agreed at the African Union
(AU) Summit held in Maputo in 2004.
The Summit agreed that owing to the fundamental importance of
agricultural development to economic growth and the sector being the
main source of livelihood for the populations in African, Caribean and
Pacific (ACP) countries, poverty eradication and the elimination of
hunger hinged upon agricultural development.
"We therefore commit ourselves to strengthening the development of
agriculture and related value added activities, rural development and
food security at national and regional levels," the summit affirmed.
"To this end, we support the formulation of appropriate programmes under
the ACP-EC Development Co-operation Framework to include safety nets and
maintenance of food reserves."
Mugyenyi urged the CAADP to include the Pan African Parliament in
implementing the resolutions passed at their forum as most of the
members of parliament at the PAP are also legislators in the national
parliaments and could aid in achieving the goals set by the CAADP in
The head of CAADP at the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD),
Prof Richard Mkandawire, praised Kenya's efforts in helping develop the
agricultural sector in the country.
He, however, urged the government to embrace THE CAADP AND also endeavor
to have the success stories in the agriculture sector replicated in
other areas within the country and the region.
Prof Mkandawire decried the continued lack of investment in the
agricultural sector, saying that infrastructure development was still at
a minimum. "We need to have irrigation infrastructure put in place so as
to increase agricultural production," he said. Source: -- NNN-KBC,
December 4, 2009