Members of Parliament want Malabo Declaration taken to grassroots

 

 

06/06/2016

 

 Members of Parliament want Malabo Declaration taken to grassroots

 

By ESAFF Correspondent

A cross-section of Parliamentary Chairpersons of the Agriculture Committees in East African Member States have declared that they want to see East African Governments allocating 10 percent of their total budgets to agriculture sector as per Malabo Declaration.

 

Also other commitments in the vital document they want to see them attained and the spirit of the declaration devolved to grassroots. This came to light at the EAC Agriculture Budget Summit 2016, that took place early June in Arusha at AICC.

 

The lawmakers made their views known at a penal discussion during the summit organized by ESAFF, Action Aid and ANSAF. The discussion centered on the role of law makers towards the fulfilment of the Malabo Declaration at EAC and national level.

 

The panelist included Hon. Christopher Bazivamo (EALA MP– heading the committee of Agriculture. Tourism and Natural Resources (ATNR), Hon. Adolphe Mbonimpa (MP Burundi), Hon. Adan Mohamed Nour (MP Kenya), Hon. Mary Nagu (MP Tanzania) and Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda (MP Uganda).

 

According to Hon. Bazivamo East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) has a role to play in the implementation of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and African Union Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Africa Agricultural Growth and Transformation.

 

The EALA parliamentarians urged his counterparts at the national and regional level to do their role in promoting accountability to enable agriculture sector reach new heights.

 

 

Hon. Adolphe Mbonimpa from Burundi informed his government was already allocating 10 percent to agriculture sector.

 

“What we need is  sensitization to create awareness about Malabo Declaration at the national level. He assured that Burundi has passed some major policies to  addressing poverty and improve livelihood. “But we have some challenges including poor organization of Small Scale Farmers (SSFs), lack of a bank supporting SSFs, poor governance among others,” he said.

 

Hon. Adan Mohamed Nour, MP from Kenya informed that the adoption of the new constitution gave power and mandate of budget process to the parliament. The ministry of finance is to ensure revenue collection.

 

The Budget and Appropriations Committee is faced with the challenge that there is no sector willing to surrender its allocation to agriculture.

 

There are ongoing investments in development of the sectors- irrigation, food and fertilizer subsidies and value addition, he informed. “Despite the improvement, there is need to encourage the youth not only to invest in value addition but also for them to engage in agriculture production.”

 

Hon. Mary Nagu, MP from Tanzania was emphatic that there was a need to domesticate the Malabo declaration. “We have fertile lands in EAC yet people still die of hunger and malnutrition….,” she lamented.

 

She called on the government and other stakeholders to look into the untapped opportunities in agriculture.

 

“MPs need to know the concerns of small scale armers during the planning process,” she said.

 

On his part, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda (MP Uganda) pointed out that agriculture investment is a crosscutting issue. “Ministries like energy, water, gender, environment, land and works have a part in modernizing agriculture and development of agriculture,” he noted. While Uganda government has done a lot to develop agriculture, he noted it needed to popularize the Malabo Declaration.

 

The event was funded by the Dakar based Trust Africa and the EU through the INVOLVE project.

 

 

The session was moderated by Mr. David Adama of Action Aid and Ms. Beatrice Makwenda of National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM).








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