‘Walking the Talk’ with the media in agriculture

Submitted by admin on Mon, 12/28/2015 - 11:48

“Double digit growth in Agriculture is possible”. This was a sentiment shared by one of the journalists attending the CAADP network of Journalists training workshop which took place in Maputo, Mozambique this week.

The workshop was attended by journalists from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.

This network of journalists was established in 2013 by the NEPAD Agency and the African Union Commission to promote agricultural development reporting in Africa. It aims to equip African journalists with a better understanding of CAADP and the broader issues and debates related to agricultural development on the Continent.

The objective of the two-day training session was to sensitise journalists who are members of the network on the CAADP Results Framework as a monitoring and evaluation tool for CAADP implementation in the countries. During the workshop, the journalists were given an opportunity to present on their countries’ progress in executing CAADP.

“Between 2003 and 2013, Burkina Faso has made huge strides towards rural transformation based on CAADP principles,” Idrissa Konditamde informed the other journalists. Konditamde also reported that other best practices in Burkina Faso include the strong involvement of non-public stakeholders by following a multi-sectorial approach, research, good investment priorities and consistent review of national commitments and declarations.

Also speaking on best practices in their countries, Seydou Sadio and Ibrahima Diallo from Senegal stated that their country’s national budgetary allocation of between 15% and 14% between 2003 and 2014 to agriculture, coupled with active private sector involvement as led to CAADP and the sector consistently yielding positive results in food security as well as contribution to the economy.

Another objective of the workshop was to discuss the Malabo Declaration, a commitment by member states to implement a number of essential policy reforms toward ending hunger and cutting poverty in Africa in half by 2025. To meet these goals, African leaders re-affirmed their intention to devote 10% of their national budgets to agricultural development and agreed to targets such as doubling agricultural productivity, halving post-harvest loss, and bringing stunting down to 10% across Africa.

“How do we make sure that the commitments in the Malabo Declaration result in positive change?” Charles Mangwiro, a radio journalist from Mozambique, posed the question in emphasising the need for media to hold their leaders accountable to the continental and regional commitments that they make for agricultural growth and ending hunger.

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Sydney Phiri representing SABC speaks on the South African experience and CAADP implementation

The journalists maintained that the media remains an important instrument to communicate and facilitate dialogue on agriculture, including sharing on best practice as well as raising awareness on key issues in advancing agriculture and development. They also agreed to use the various monitoring and tracking tools, such as Joint Sector Reviews and the CAADP Results Framework to follow and assess the progress of agriculture in their countries. Some journalists reported that the Joint Sector Reviews have also helped to enhance dialogue in her country at national level. 

In ‘walking the talk for agricultural transformation,’ the CAADP Journalists Network agreed to bring increased attention to, and encourage debate and dialogue on the 2015-2025 CAADP Results Framework.

They also agreed to interrogate their countries’ National Agriculture Investment Plans to track and report on progress and challenges.

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Students displaying different tomato breeds to journalists

Acknowledging the fact that media has a powerful role in distributing information on African agriculture, the CAADP Journalists reaffirmed their commitment to disseminate pertinent information to local communities by linking policy makers and researchers with farmers on the ground. “We are committed to realising Vision 2025,” said the journalists.