Lusaka, March 2019.
People in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have called for Member States to progressively allocate budgets to agriculture to reach the Malabo Declaration target of at least 10% % to sustain annual agricultural GDP growth of at least 6% annually
Small scale farmers, CSOs and law makers from national parliaments and the Regional SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) says national investments in agriculture should align with farmers own priorities and focus on financing diversified smallholder support programs, such as extension services, research, climate change adaptation, input support, improving access to finance and market
They were speaking at the 3rd Regional Budget Summit on Strengthening Social Accountability in Health and Agriculture in Southern Africa, co-hosted by the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance and the SADC PF.
The Summit was held in Lusaka, Zambia bringing representatives from Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia recently
In the Communiqué released at the Summit, delegates urged SADC Secretariat to urgently operationalize the established SADC Food and Nutrition Security Regional Steering Committee as formed during the SADC Food and Nutrition Security Strategy Forum in Malawi (2014), which is to advise on regional food and nutrition policy frameworks and strategies
They also called upon SADC Member States to support innovative research and development to develop and redirection of funds towards the adoption of agro ecological practices such as use of community-based seed systems, improvement of soil fertility through increasing soil organic matter, integrated pest management as opposed to hybrid seed and chemically intensive agriculture
The Summit in Lusaka recommend the supreme audit institutions of Member States to conduct performance audits of their agricultural extension services and conduct forensic audits of all farmers support programs with a focus on Farm Input Support Programs (FISP) to identify and address the systematic internal control weaknesses that allow for misuse of funds and in enabling small holder farmers particularly women to sustainably contribute to the realization of food security goals in the region
The Communiqué was submitted to SADC Secretariat, and the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled for August 2019.
The PSA alliance for social accountability in southern Africa is made of ESAFF, Actionaid South Africa, SAfaids and PSAM – Rhodes University in South Africa. To read the entire communique click here http://esaffsouthafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Communique-Budget-Summit_07-March-2019_Lusaka.pdf