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Kenya pledges to attain Malabo Declaration on agriculture

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 18:28 | By
Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Paul Ronoh PHOTO/ KNA
Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Paul Ronoh PHOTO/ KNA

Kenya has renewed its commitment to the post-Malabo process, giving assurance that it would work closely with the other African Member States to bring alive the next 10-year African Agricultural agenda.

State Department for Agriculture Principal Secretary (PS) Paul Ronoh said that after two decades of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) implementation (Maputo 2003, Malabo 2014), the continent has made significant progress in economic and agricultural growth, reduced poverty and malnutrition, expanded agricultural trade, and public investments in agriculture.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday during a regional stakeholder engagement and dialogue to provide input for the post-Malabo CAADP Agenda, Ronoh said that agriculture remains the backbone of most African countries economies, with the continent’s estimated 33 million smallholder farmers being key not just to food production but also to the livelihoods of the many Africans whose work is linked to the agricultural sector.

Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Paul Ronoh. PHOTO/ KNA

In 2003, the African Heads of State and Government adopted the CAADP, an agriculture-led integrated development framework to boost African Agriculture and food security, which was called the Maputo Declaration. The commitment entailed investing at least 10 per cent of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the agricultural sector, to attain a minimum six per cent average annual growth of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AgGDP).

Ten years after implementing the CAADP framework, the African Heads of State and Government adopted the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Africa Union Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Paul Ronoh with farmers. PHOTO/ Screengrab by K24 Digital (@DrRonohpaul)

Successive CAADP-Malabo Biennial Reviews since 2017 indicate that most of the countries are not on track to meet the CAADP Malabo Commitments. Challenges include climate change, geopolitical tensions and conflicts, disease pandemics, and economic downturns.

Dr. Ronoh said that successive CAADP-Malabo Biennial Reviews since 2017 indicate that only one country is on track to meet the Malabo Commitments. This challenge is exacerbated by global issues, including climate change, geopolitical tensions and conflicts, disease pandemics, and economic downturns.

“In addition, the changing African Agri-food system due to changes in demographics, urbanisation, technology, dietary habits, increasing dietary diversification and consumption of processed food, and employment in the processing sector calls for innovation, adaptation, re-invigoration, and scaling up if Africa is to achieve CAADP commitments,” the PS said.

He highlighted that the three days of stakeholder engagement and dialogue provide an opportunity for key stakeholders, particularly the AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities, to discuss the issues that will inform the CAADP Agenda for the next 10 years.

“The Government of Kenya, through my ministry, recognises and appreciates the strategic role that the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) play in the African Agricultural Transformation and is committed to working with the member states from the Eastern bloc in the region to define both the continent and the regional agricultural transformation agenda to address emerging issues and opportunities," Ronoh said.

Hosted by IGAD, EAC, COMESA, and the Africa Union, AUDA NEPAD, the regional consultations are planned to ensure stakeholder participation and consensus-building on important elements or input for the Post-Malabo Agenda.

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