The Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture commenced at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday. Also attending the three day meeting are representatives of Africa’s development partners, farmers organisations, Civil Society, Regional Economic communities and Bureau chairs of AU Ministerial bodies.
Agriculture experts at the opening ceremony spoke on the transformation agenda and the need to modernise African Agriculture. The transformation agenda must address the challenges of inclusive growth, they agreed.
“NEPAD implementation underscores broad based economic growth and inclusive development as we acknowledge that there are emerging issues within the continent. These issues include urbanisation, a youthful population, globalisations, climate change and other underlying issues such as gender and nutrtion” said Mrs Lisinge- Fotabong.
Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong addressing delegates during the plenary session
AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture speaks on transformation in Agriculture
“The transformation agenda must also address the critical issues of envinronmental sustainability for our own sake and for the sake of future generations” said Mrs Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture.
Mr Ato Zena Habtewold from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture
Representing the Ethiopian Minster of Agriculture, Ato Zena Habtewold, Director, Planning and Programing at the Ministry said: “We all agree that CAADP has played a crucial role in improving coordination among various players on agriculture strategy development and mobilizing resources to support development endeavors”.
He stressed that through CAADP, the coordination among various players in Agriculture development had been improved. Moreover, Ethiopia has become one of the pioneer countries in implementing the policy investment frame work by allocating budget for agriculture beyond the CAADP target and registering 8% annual agricultural growth which is 2% beyond the CADDP target.
Over the next three days, experts are expected to discuss all issues related to Agriculture transformation and opportunities for inclusive growth and development.