When the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was established by the African Union assembly in 2003, African countries had a clear goal in mind: to eliminate hunger, reduce poverty and increase food security through agricultural investment and growth. To achieve this goal, African leaders committed to allocate a minimum of 10% of the national budgets to the agriculture sector and to raise agricultural growth to at least 6% per year.
Nine years have passed, a total of 30 African governments have signed the CAADP compact and 23 countries have completed their national agricultural investment plans. The budgetary allocation to agriculture, however, still remains far below the CAADP target of 10 percent in most of the countries. A new book, Strategies and Priorities for African Agriculture, Economywide Perspectives from Country Studies shows that the funding gap exists in several post-compact countries and their governments rely heavily on external sources of funding – makes it both crucial and urgent to prioritize agriculture and rural development in the design of national development strategies.