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One_DoAgric A new campaign by ONE, an international nonprofit organisation, has been launched with the aim of lifting more than 85 million Africans out of poverty through targeted investment in agriculture and “enhanced CAADP” policies The ONE Campaign, today, launched the campaign titled, ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ in addition to releasing a report. The campaign is designed to charge governments in Africa to commit a minimum of 10 percent of their national budgets on agricultural investments through transparency in budgeting and execution of programmes.  Popular Nigerian singer and songwriter D’banj was part of the team that launched the ‘Do Agric’ programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today. Members of the civil society also present at the launch includes the Pan African Farmers Association (PAFO), Action Aid International, Acord International, Oxfam, East and Southern African Farmers Forum , ROPPA, Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions, the Africa Union Commission, Becho Welisho and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).


Other advocates that are part of the campaign include Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Beninois President Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni and Côte d’Ivoire footballer Yaya Touré. A new public service announcement, starring Touré  was released today. The launch coincides with the gathering of African heads of state at the 2014 January African Union (AU) summit. The AU aims to focus on agricultural development in Africa for the year 2014 and has thus tagged it ‘the Year of Agriculture in Africa’. “Now is the time to get our leaders to commit to a big push toward implementing effective agricultural policies, scale up public investment in agriculture and catalyze private sector participation in agriculture development,” says ONE Africa Director Dr. Sipho Moyo. “Of the more than 400 million Africans living in extreme poverty, 70% live in rural areas that depend on agriculture. Remarkably, the multiplier effect of agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be 11 times greater in reducing poverty than in other non-agriculture sectors, such as utilities and mining.” D’banj said, “There are massive untapped business opportunities in agriculture that could create jobs for millions of Africans on and off the farm. I want Africans to know that farming is not only the foundation of the economy, but also that farming is cool. I believe that, if the needed attention is given to agriculture, we Africans will not only feed ourselves, but also the rest of the world.” Watch the campaign video ‘Do Agric – Keep the Promise’ here: The report released by ONE called Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricutural Transformation, charges governments in Africa to implement “enhanced CAADP” policies that will promote economic development across the continent through transformational agricultural agenda steered by the AU’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The package of policy recommendations, developed after widespread consultations with farmers and stakeholders in the agricultural sectors of countries, includes the following provisions: 1. Make time-bound commitments to meet the Maputo pledge of spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets. 2. Eliminate the gender gap in agriculture. 3. Strengthen land governance and security of tenure rights. 4. Reduce barriers to intra-regional trade. 5. Increase R&D investment to at least 1% of agricultural GDP and bolster extension services. 6. Integrate sustainability and climate resilience into national agriculture plans. 7. Prioritise the reduction of post-harvest loss in national agriculture plans. 8. Design nutrition goals into agriculture sector strategies. 9. Foster an enabling environment for smallholder integration and responsible private sector investment. 10. Accelerate implementation of agriculture plans and ensure results for smallholder farmers. Watch  ‘Yaya Toure Do Agric Message to Africans’ here: The report documents some of the success stories that were realised as result of increased government expenditure on agriculture in countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.  “The good news is there are real success stories across the continent to build upon. These African-led successes must now be scaled, adopted and adapted across the region so that small farms can become small firms, young people can find good jobs and African economies can thrive. This virtuous cycle of agriculture-led industrialization will bring stability and prosperity across Africa. This is the future for African agriculture we can create together, if we seize the great opportunity of 2014,” Dr. Moyo added. Learn more and sign a petition in support of agriculture investment and the enhanced CAADP reforms in Africa HERE.  

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This article was first published on 29th January 2014

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