Online portal will track African agriculture investments

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Resource allocation towards CAADP will lead to food self-sufficiency, and a new web portal will help track the progress.

AgInvest, a new web portal that will track resource allocation to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) by governments, development partners and other stakeholders is set to be released in 2013.  The announcement was made by Joseph Karugia, the coordinator of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System, Eastern and Central Africa (ReSAKSS-ECA), at a one day meeting held at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Monday 15 July, 2013, to review the beta version of AgInvest.

“Tracking and mapping agriculture investments includes documenting their spatial distribution. This means getting to know where the investments are taking place physically and using that knowledge to guide decisions on future investments,” Karugia said.

The Nairobi meeting was held two days ahead of the CAADP meeting in Accra, Ghana, part of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6). CAADP is the pathway adopted by African nations to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty through agriculture while ReSAKSS is mandated to provide Monitoring and Evaluation support to the implementation of CAADP.

To achieve the CAADP agenda, African governments have agreed to increase public investment in agriculture by a minimum of 10 per cent of their national budgets and to raise agricultural productivity by at least 6 per cent.

Tracking and mapping investments, it was noted, will provide information that could be used in facilitating partnerships, informing advocacy and influencing policy. The information being documented includes the project or programme name, objectives, time frame, cost, funding agency, implementing agency and source of information.

This information will add value to existing initiatives by sharing of information in line with International Aid Transparency Initiative (AITI) and data on projects and programmes publicly available in multiple places.

Stella Massawe, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for ReSAKSS-ECA, noted that following the inception of the CAADP, Africa has witnessed a rising trend in agricultural investments by public and private sector which has created a need to document where these investments have been directed. The initiative tracks investments at different levels (countries, provinces, districts and sub districts) in the ECA region. It is contributing to efforts on alignment, harmonisation and mutual accountability under CAADP and Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

AgInvest is intended to be a one-stop source of information on agriculture investments in the region. It will support planning, decision making and monitoring and evaluation of agriculture and food security efforts. Information on the portal is mainly collated from publicly available sources with additional information gathered from national and regional partners. Using 2005 as the reference year, the portal maps interventions in agriculture that were active in that year and those that were implemented afterwards.

The CAADP meeting in Accra is a key agenda at AASW6, which is taking place from 15-20 July 2013. The day’s theme is Investing in Africa feeding Africa, and the schedule includes a dialogue to be held among African political leaders, CAADP champions, farmers, civil society organizations, the private sector, think-tank institutions, representatives from the diaspora and development partners.

The CGIAR Consortium, which advances international agricultural research for a food secure future by integrating and coordinating the efforts of those who fund research and those who do the research, is working with the the African Union Commission (AUC) and CAADP’s Development Partners, to advance agricultural research on the continent. They have engaged in what is known as The Dublin Process, to deepen alignment and collaboration between Africa’s agricultural research, extension, and education programs and the programs of the CGIAR in Africa to facilitate agricultural transformation across the Continent.

By Jane Gitau

Editor’s note: The “CAADP” agenda, which highlighted in this article will be interesting topic of discussion at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) in Accra, organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the Government of Ghana. Follow this event on Twitter via @FARAinfo and the the hashtag#AASW6, on FARA’s Facebook Page and on the AASW6 blog.

Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

 

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