By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA – THE Federal Government yesterday, disclosed yesterday, that domestication of ‘Malabo Declaration’ in the agricultural sector has started in line with the ‘Green Alternative’ policy.
This was made known by a representative from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and a Deputy Director, Policy Implementation Department, Baye Sylvester, at the 3-day meeting organised by the African Union, AU, and New Partnership for Africa Development, NEPAD, on ‘Expert Panel to Draft New Plan for Achieving Economic Diversity through Major Investments in Agriculture’ in Abuja.
The key purpose of the meeting was on review of the plan for making crop, livestock and fisheries the centrepiece of Nigeria’s economic development agenda. The effort also will ensure Nigeria’s National Agriculture Investment Plan, NAIP, is aligns with commitments contained in the AU’s 2014 ‘Malabo Declaration’, which seeks to cut poverty rates in half by 2025 through agriculture-led economic growth.
Sylvester said Nigerian government has been committed to the process of domesticating the ‘Malabo Declaration’, which has been on transparency in policy formulation and implementation in line with the three cardinal principles of transparency, accountability and per reviewing of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, CAADP, and National Agriculture Investment Plan, NAIP.
He said: “In the African region as far as Agriculture is concerned Nigeria has recorded quiet a lot of progress. The ‘Malabo Declaration’ is just been domesticated and there is no country that can say they have been able to domesticate Malabo. This is because Malabo Commitment is coming up through the second generation of the NAIP every country has started the process and also Nigeria has started it.
“Every country has its own home grown policy and there are standards of reporting of whatever you are doing. You have to be seen following the principles of CAADP and NAIP, which include transparency, accountability and per reviewing.
“Nigeria’s focus now is transparency. There are a lot of work going on with the issue of transparency, which is one cardinal principle of CAADP and NAIP. If things are done transparently we will arrive there. So far we cannot say this is the extent of achievement of Malabo Declaration but Malabo Declaration is in progress.”
In his remarks, Senior Advisor and CAADP Team Leader, African Union Commission, Ernest Ruzindaza, and Augustin Wambo Yamdjeu, Head of CAADP, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, said the AU and NEPAD were out to see how African countries could put in more resources into agriculture and also create wealth and employment for their youth and women.
According to Ruzindaza many countries in 2003 financed their agricultural sector by two per cent budgetary allocation but after 10 years of CAADP there was significant improvement as some countries were putting more than 10 per cent of their budget into the sector, while the average was seven per cent, which were a big achievement and a positive trend.
“We are also achieving growth and growth target in CAADP was six per cent per year, and in average we did not reach the six per cent, and there was a positive trend which was four per cent.
“But still the ‘Malabo Commitment’ is aiming at six per cent per year when it comes to agriculture growth. That growth will translate into good livelihood of the people and job creation for our youth and women,” he stated.
In same vein Yamdjeu explained that the target of the meeting will be in getting African countries domesticate what they have decided to do. To get them domesticate their plans, which has made the AU to ensure harmonisation of understanding and also utilise a number of options to achieve the ‘Malabo Declaration’.
“Nigeria for instance not necessarily as a country needs to have the same priorities as Kenya, Cameroon or Malawi. The tool kits we have for countries to use and help countries use the options that are most suitable for their conditions. So is not going to be a one sided thing”, he said.