Aid For Agriculture: Turning promises into reality co-ordinating donor interventions in three west african countries

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Since the beginning of the 1980s, the agricultural sector has gradually dropped down the list of priorities for state development aid in West Africa, as well as that of national policies. At the same time, more people in the region are going hungry, due in part to the recent hike in food prices. In Burkina Faso, Niger and Ghana the vast majority of the population is rural and depends on agriculture, which is both the main means of reducing poverty and to ensure better food security at national level. A year and a half after the High-Level Conference on World Food Security organised by the FAO in Rome, this study attempts to put forward an initial review of the commitments made by the international community, in terms of funding, co-ordination of interventions on the ground and support to national agricultural policies and programmes. Based on the reality on the ground in three West African countries: Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Niger, this research does not claim to present an exhaustive overview of whether financial pledges
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  Aid for Agriculture: Turning Promises into Reality on the Ground Co-ordinating Donor Interventions in Three West African Countries  Jean-Denis Crola Oxfam France – Agir ici EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 HRS GMT 04 November 2009   CCNNPPFFPP//NN   OXFAM RESEARCH REPORT      ‘Unfortunately, the last 25 years have been marked by a threefold neglect of this sector: neglect by our States, who have gone from an administrative and interventionist vision of the agricultural sector to an absence of any vision whatsoever, leaving market forces to guide any changes that occur; neglect by the business community, which has generally focused on the sector’s growth activities,  particularly import trading; and neglect by the international community, whose aid to agriculture has dropped to dangerous levels. I would add also a fourth kind of neglect: that of the producers themselves, who, discouraged and isolated, have often sought a way out by diversifying their incomes with activities other than land and livestock farming (...). ‘We cannot rise to meet the challenges presented without massive reinvestment on the part of each of these actors. If even one of them fails to heed the call, then our efforts will meet with failure. ‘[We have to rise above] a mindset of successive trends, to combine clear and encouraging public policies, stakeholder financing strategies and tools in a consistent manner, adapting them to the diversity of needs. Development partners are often impatient to see our strategies translated into operational action. This search for overall coherence is the starting point for an agricultural revolution that will cost us dear in terms of dialogue and conception. It can nevertheless no longer be ignored (...) Africa is tired of international conferences and pledges that lead to nothing. ‘In Maputo, our Governments undertook to dedicate at least 10% of their State budgets to agriculture. I invite you to build up a global partnership founded on reciprocal agreements and to define together the means required to ensure they become a reality.‘ Extracts from the address by Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas , President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, during the opening of the ‘Investing in Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa’ Forum, 8 December 2008, Paris. 1   1 , Turning Promises into Realities on the Ground , Oxfam International Research Report, November 2009  Contents   Executive summary.......................................................................................................3   Introduction....................................................................................................................8   1 Aid for agriculture: an established but ineffective system..............................11   A. Agriculture: a priority sector neglected by Official Development Assistance (ODA).............................................................................................................................11   B.   The negative effects of project aid...................................................................12   C.   The limits of dialogue........................................................................................16   2 The crisis as an opportunity for change...............................................................21   A.   Priority support for short-term action............................................................21   B.   Poorly co-ordinated investment over the medium and long term.............25   3 Strengthening national policies: a major challenge for agricultural development.................................................................................................................28   A.   From project approach to programme approach..........................................28   B.   Agricultural investment programmes are indispensable............................31   C.   Making agriculture a real national budget priority......................................34   4 Conclusion.................................................................................................................36   5 Recommendations....................................................................................................37   Bibliography................................................................................................................45   2 , Turning Promises into Realities on the Ground , Oxfam International Research Report, November 2009  Acronyms ACP African, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States AfDB African Development Bank AFSI L’Aquila Food Security Initiative CAADP Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme CDF Common Donor Fund (Niger) CERF Central Emergency Response Fund (UN) CIDA Canadian International Development Agency DAC Development Assistance Committee (of the OECD) DANIDA Danish International Development Agency DFID Department for International Development (UK) DNPGCA National Body for the Prevention and Management of Food Crises (Niger) ECOWAP Economic Community of West African Agriculture Programme ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States EDF European Development Fund EPA Economic Partnership Agreement FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FASDEP Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (Ghana) GDP Gross Domestic Product HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Countries IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development MCA Millennium Challenge Account MDBS Multi-Donor Budget Support MoFA Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Ghana) MoFEP Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (Ghana) NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development NGO Non-Governmental Organisation OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ODA Official Development Assistance PADAB Programme d’Appui au Développement du l’Agriculture du Burkina Faso PMU Project Management Unit 3 , Turning Promises into Realities on the Ground , Oxfam International Research Report, November 2009
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