POLICY BRIEF ON PRIORITISING PUBLIC INVESTMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENTCISLAC Admin
Hitherto, African continent has embarked on series of development frameworks and policies, primarily to revive agricultural sector as counter-approach to the regional rising poverty, food crisis and unemployment.
Without doubt, agriculture continues to be the dominant contributor to Nigeria’s GDP and growth with an average contribution over the last five years of about 34%; and also remains the largest employer of productive labour, with an average of 65% of gainfully employed working in agriculture.
The sector is dominated by small scale agriculture, with small scale farmers constituting more than 80% of farmers and being responsible for more than 90% of food domestically produced and consumed in the country.
Nevertheless the sector continues to be ravaged by age-old impediments for which the Maputo Declaration and CAADP was instituted in 2003 to tackle and overcome the alarming at the levels of undernourishment which affected 30% of the African population at that time. The combined Allocation to the Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources in the proposed 2014 appropriation budget is even more shocking at just about N100bn, less than 5% of total national budgetary allocation.
Meanwhile small scale farmers, particularly women and youth, continue to lack access to land, to adequate water resources, to inputs, to markets, and to the benefits of agriculture research; couple with lack of access to markets and the basic infrastructures. Thus neither with respect to the 10% minimum allocation nor with the 6% minimum annual agriculture growth rate has Nigeria been compliant with the Maputo declaration.
Therefore, CISLAC believes if the goals of the Vision 20:2020 are to be met, GDP needs to be growing at over 8% annually, driven by a minimum annual agriculture growth rate of 10%.
As part of the efforts to drive public and private sectors’ participation in the CAADP process, the Maputo Declaration and the CAADP process recognised and based sustainable achievement of impact on the participation of all stakeholders in general, and on the collaboration between the public and private sectors and development partners in particular. Though these have been focused on commercial agriculture, it has negligently targeted small scale farmers, with less than 10% of interventions targeting small scale agriculture.
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that achieving this minimum commitment threshold, it becomes increasingly difficult to not only attract, but also be able to properly direct private sector investment in Agriculture as well as development partner interventions.