15th July 2024

Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto,

Ghana has made an enormous progress in the agriculture sector by obtaining a 6.67 score out of a possible maximum of 10 to surpass the benchmark for the 2019 reporting year of the Malabo Declaration, which was pegged at 6.66.

Rwanda, Morocco and Mali, who obtained 7.24, 6.96 and 6.82, respectively, and Ghana are the only four African countries that made the tremendous progress required during the reporting year to surpass the benchmark score.

This development implies that Ghana is on track towards achieving the seven commitments of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which also refers to the Malabo Declaration, by 2025 after missing out in the 2017 reporting period.

Altogether, 36 African countries made improvement over the previous reporting period in 2017.

However, analysis of the report shows that the continent generally still remains off-track towards achieving the overall Malabo Declaration commitments, obtaining an overall average score of 4.03, compared to the benchmark of 6.66 required to be on-track.

This came to light during the launch of the second Biennial Review Report on the implementation of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods, held in Ethiopia earlier this month.

The declaration

In the Malabo Declaration, African Union Member states committed to report, on a biennial basis, the progress in achieving the seven commitments of the Declaration which are translated into seven thematic areas of performance.

They include re-committing to the principles and values of the CAADP process; enhancing investment finance in agriculture by allocating 10 per cent of their respective national budgetary resources to the agriculture sector; achieving six per cent annual growth rate; ending hunger in Africa by 2025; and reducing poverty, at least by half, by 2025, through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation.

The rest are boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services; enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems to climate variability and other related risks; as well as strengthening mutual accountability to actions and results.

Contributing factor

The report did not give details on the measures taken by Ghana and the other three best performing countries that enabled them to surpass the benchmark. However, analysis indicates that some agricultural interventions, notably the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), planting for Export and Rural Development (PFERD), among other interventions, largely orchestrated the upward move.

For instance, with the operationalisation of the PFJ programme, which led to bumper harvest in maize, plantain, cassava and other food items, Ghana was faced with the challenge of adequately managing its resultant new agricultural surpluses.

However, in the middle of last year, the government began the process of negotiating with Brazil towards purchasing agro-processing machinery to enable it effectively utilise its agricultural crop surpluses by adding value to the produce.

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