Monday, 4 May 2009

The AU Agriculture Conference

Ministers of agriculture articulated the major agricultural issues at AU Ministerial Conference which took place 22-24 April, 2009 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The host Minister, Honourable Tafera, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for the Federal Republic of Ethiopia opened the meeting calling on all cooperating partners to support Africa's development efforts under the CAADP agenda.

Africa's lead donors attending the meeting include JICA, The World Bank, EU, DfiD, FAO, WFP, IFAD and AGRA. Others present are AfDB, Global Donor Platform, the UN High Level Task Force on Food Security and UNECA.

Sierra Leone's Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Sessay, gave a moving outline of Africa's vast water and land resources and stressed that if the continent focused strongly on the disciplined planning process under CAADP, there is no doubt, the continent will overcome its developmental obstacles.

Libyan Minister of Agriculture is chairing the AU Ministerial Session on Agriculture which is on the theme "investing in agriculture for economic growth and food security" and tackling the key issues of climate change, livestock development, land policies, food security, agricultural finance and the overall status of CAADP implementation.

The decisions of the Ministers in Addis will form the main materials for the consideration of the AU Heads of State Summit in June/July, 2009.

During the meeting, COMESA Senior Agricultural Advisor Dr Cris Muyunda held sessions with several COMESA Ministers among them Honourable Joseph Made Minister of Agriculture from Zimbabwe who reconfirmed that country’s readiness to host the COMESA Agriculture Meetings from May 11-15, 2009 in Harare.

Dr. Muyunda also met Honourable Amin Abaza Minister of Agriculture from Egypt who reiterated his readiness to host the 2nd Joint COMESA Agricultural/Environment Ministers Meeting in Cairo from 15-16 August, 2009.

Meanwhile, the Head of Malawi Delegation Dr. Daudi Yamba has confirmed that the Malawi CAADP Compact has been approved by the Malawian Cabinet. This brings to two, after Rwanda the number of CAADP Compacts concluded in the COMESA bloc. COMESA is now way ahead of all Regional Economic Communities on the continent in concluding CAADP compacts.

All going according to plan, COMESA should have three compacts by the time of the COMESA Summit in June this year.

04/05 COMESA Ministers Articulate Agricultural Issues at the AU Agriculture Conference