In July 2003, African leaders meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, committed to allocating 10% of their national budgets to agriculture by 2008, and to increasing annual agricultural growth to 6% of GDP. Their aim: to eliminate hunger, and reduce poverty and food insecurity. Their instrument of choice: the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (Caadp), a platform that brings together key players – including the government, the private sector and civil society – at national, regional and international levels to improve co-ordination and share knowledge.
Ten years later, just eight countries – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger and Senegal – have reached or exceeded the 10% spending target, and nine – Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania – have achieved agricultural growth of more than 6% per annum.
By any standards, Caadp should be considered a failure. But speak to almost anyone involved in agriculture in Africa – NGOs, farmers, donors and the UN – and they will tell you it has been successful.