Once in a while, i do snoop around my friends Facebook walls to keep up with the ongoing trends and news and i couldn't help notice this post that caught my attention. It through Sheila Komen's wall that i realized AU had designated 2014 to be the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa.This is with the aim of addressing the looming problems that African agriculture faces. Going through the post and the subsequent comments stirred some thinking in me and i thought it wise to share since the points raised address the problems facing agriculture in Kenya and Africa in general. Below find an excerpt from Sheila's Facebook post and the subsequent comments friends posted on her wall.
Sheila's Facebook Post
"2014 - The Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa
Despite some strides having been made over the past decade to enhance agricultural development across Africa, there is no escaping the reality that the continent continues to face serious challenges of hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty. This prompted the African Union (AU), Assembly of African Heads of State and Governments to declare 2014 the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa. It is hoped that this will encourage countries to increase food security, reduce poverty, promote economic growth and create wealth through agricultural upliftment.
This declaration is an attempt to secure a re-commitment from African governments towards agriculture and to implementing policies and strategies highlighted following the implementation of the AU’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), developed and adopted in Mozambique by African heads of State and governments in 2003. Herein countries committed to allocate at least 10% of annual budgetary allocations to the agricultural sector and to ensure its growth by at least 6% annually. To date, sadly only nine African countries have exceeded these targets.
Kenya voluntarily signed the CAADP Compact on July 24th 2010 however, by 2013 is yet to achieve the targeted at least 10% allocation to agriculture. In 2013/2014 budgets, Agriculture was allocated Sh53.5 billion accounting for less than 2 per cent of the budget, which is way short of the compact. Agriculture contributes about 25% of Kenya’s National GDP not to mention the millions of jobs and non-marketed agricultural services, especially in the rural areas, that are not included in the formal GDP calculations. It is thus very concerning and the envisaged economic growth will continue falling short of expectations until the sector is fully funded, 2% does and will not cut it.
Thus in 2014, the clarion call is for you to join those of us who work in agricultural development to call upon our governments to heed the Maputo Declaration and give Agriculture the priority it deserves."
The Reactionary comments from the post..........
What's your take?
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