Zambia: Building Partnership for CAADP Success

"CAADP's emphasis on multi-stakeholder dialogue and decision making is central to its success. Non State Actors participation in the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) process as seen from the ACORD perspective involves four key functions which include planning, implementation, reform and accountability", this was noted by Fatou Mbaye of ACORD during a national workshop on the CAADP process held in Lusaka, Zambia. "These ensure that the CAADP process conforms to the principles of effectiveness, efficiency and transparency".

The workshop was part of the on-going effort to build a strong knowledge base among different stakeholders. Various civil society organisations and farmer groups attended and actively participated in the debates around the implementation of the CAADP in Eastern and Southern Africa. Held on 9th August 2012, the workshop attracted among others Dr Nalishebo Meebelo from the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) office in Zambia and Mr Derrick Sikombe, the Deputy Director for Planning at the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia.

During the discussions, Dr Nalishebo emphasised the need for better planning and coordination around the CAADP investment process in order to facilitate government allocation of funding as recommended by the Compact.
"Before we begin to speak about the 10% allocation, we need to begin talking about where we expect to invest the 10 per cent. We need to be talking about participating in a dialogue process, in order to come up with those areas in which we will allocate the funding", said Dr. Nalishebo.

Zambia signed the CAADP Compact on 18 January 2011 which is a prerequisite towards facilitation of the process enabling the country to begin allocating at least 10% of the national budget towards agriculture in order to achieve a minimum growth rate of 6% within the agricultural sector.

"Putting the cart before the horse"

"What CAADP is trying to do is bring in a culture of doing ‘business unusual'. Therefore, what we need is a plan first before we can begin allocating funds for investment. Therefore, our appeal to stakeholders in the agriculture sector is to engage in constructive dialogue processes to decide upon the investment plan"
She explained that in order to realise its vision and mission in relation to agriculture, the COMESA member states are mandated to enhance development and cooperation in the agriculture sector to realise food security and rational agricultural production within the common market.

Dr. Nalishebo (right) and ACORD's Fatou Mbaye hold
discussions during the workshop in Lusaka, Zambia.

Further, COMESA seeks to adopt and promote initiatives for rationalisation of agricultural production and sustainable agriculture. COMESA also encourages common regional agricultural policy and food self-sufficiency and therefore as a regional economic community, COMESA embraced the CAADP as a means to achieving food security and economic advancement.

ACORD has transitioned from addressing the consequences of poverty and exclusion, towards interlinking practical work and research at community level with strategic advocacy at national, sub-regional, Pan African and international levels.

PELUM Association with support from ACORD has embarked on a programme to create awareness on the CAADP process in Zambia. This action is aimed at educating the common citizenry in Zambia particularly small-scale farming communities including a special interest in reaching out to women farmers. PELUM also aims to widen the knowledge and interest of all stakeholders including non-state actors about the process.

During the national workshop, some of the challenges identified in the Zambia CAADP process include disjointed efforts by local NGOs, the Civil Society and farmer groups in contributing to the CAADP process. Limited knowledge about CAADP and the processes among the citizens especially in rural and remote areas is also another big challenge. Participants strongly felt that exclusion of local NGOs and small-scale farmer groups in discussions could potentially lead to the exclusion of critical issues for sustainable development such as agro-ecology and innovative farming practices.

"Non-State Actors need to develop a more organised engagement formula and have an apex or lead that can effectively engage the Zambian Government and produce the desired results. We therefore urge the NSAs to think about having a more constructive and inclusive dialogue structure" - Mr Derrick Sikombe, Chief Agricultural Economist, Zambian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MOALD)

"Since the launch of the CAADP process in our region of COMESA, we have noted that governments have started to increase their funding allocations into the agriculture sector. Some do not have investment plans yet but there is a commitment from the governments to increase their allocations" - Dr Nalishebo Meebelo, Deputy CAADP Coordinator, COMESA HQ.

The workshop participants passed the following resolutions regarding the CAADP implementation:

  • Local NGOs to coordinate efforts and seek representation in the Sector Advisory Groups (SAGs) and CAADP processes as a united voice;
  • Enhance collaboration with the media to disseminate the CAADP process information to all stakeholders;
  • Other ministries to mainstream CAADP process to guarantee sustainable development;
  • Non-State Actors resolved to fast track the process of NAIP and actively engage in it

Additional resources:
View: workshop photos
Watch: CAADP educational television spot
Read more: Agriculture and food security in Africa

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