By Denis Jjuuko
Ouagadougou: The 2010 CAADP Day was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso with a call for a review of the Maputo Declaration on budgetary commitments of agriculture by including a date by which countries should have allocated at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. This call was made by Laurent Sedogo, the agriculture minister of Burkina Faso while opening the CAADP Day.
“There is need to review the Maputo Declaration by including a time frame in which countries should have increased their budget,” minister Sedogo said. He added that Burkina Faso already commits 15% of the national budget to agriculture which helped it increase production of crops such as rice in 2009 to more than 50% of the 2008 figures. Burkina Faso will be signing the CAADP compact within the next few days.
The CAADP Day with the theme of “Post-Compact CAADP implementation; the African private sector and investments in agriculture” aimed at widening the political space and investment climate for CAADP to agriculture by paying particular attention to the role of the private sector as well as showcasing the work of CAADP.
The CAADP Day took place during the ongoing Agriculture and Science Week organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
The head of CAADP, Martin Bwalya in his opening speech emphasized the need for the private sector to play a significant role in the development of agriculture. “African countries should build new bridges and explore new sources of private capital flows into agriculture,” he said.
The over 200 delegates from across the world heard from a panel of experts a bout what is taking place in several African countries in order to attract the private sector.
In Sierra Leone, the government has instituted tax holidays for the private sector involved in the agricultural sector while in Burkina Faso, private banks such as Ecobank are financing the agricultural sector, mainly in the cotton industry. In Kenya, Equity Bank is carrying out financial literacy among farmers thereby bringing them into the banking sector and enabling them develop through small loans.