Assessing the strategic policy framework for agricultural transformation

AGRF 2020

September 4th, 2019

In a high-level ministerial roundtable on the CAADP priorities for progress, ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the institutionalization of the CAADP Biennial Review and the African Agricultural Transformation Scorecard (AATS).

These initiatives form part of the country peer review mechanism that is linked to the monitoring of National Investment Plans and Joint Sector Reviews. Together, they help track progress made by CAADP towards wealth creation, food security and nutrition. During the session, ministers discussed the importance of the Biennial Review Scorecard in helping governments focus on issues that are critical for their country’s progress.

As part of the push to end hunger by 2025 and attain at least 6% annual economic growth, countries need to implement the CAADP commitments. Agriculture, it was agreed, is a priority for African economies, and development partners will be essential in supporting transformation processes and goals.

Ministers also discussed the commitment to develop evidence-based solutions, including digital-based tools for identifying, designing and implementing policy solutions. The need to advance policies that will promote digital solutions for monitoring and implementing priority actions arising from the Biennial Review (BR) was another key topic. As was the implementation of national agriculture investment plans. The CAADP BR toolkit and dashboards were highlighted as vital to improving accountability on the CAADP commitments.

In order to achieve meaningful progress, governments need to report concrete results, not just theories. And to this end, establishing and operationalizing mutual accountability frameworks will be vital.

Another key area covered during the session was the commitment to implement agriculture investment plans through policy priority actions and flagship programs. Each minister will pursue these actions and programs in line with their national investment plans.

To do this, ministers will need effective and country-led prioritization and sequencing through their flagship programs. They will also need to leverage and scale up digital technologies while creating a good environment for investors. The right human resource capacity will be critical, as will coordination between different ministries and wider stakeholders. And finally, having the tools to manage performance will be essential – in particular, the Biennial Review dashboard is of enormous value to the agricultural sector.

Speakers also issued a call to action for increased attention to, and investment in, digital-led solutions to advance regional trade and agricultural transformation. Ghana has already set an example in this area through the Planting for Food and Jobs flagship program. But elsewhere countries need to champion and implement adaptation policies and create secure environments in which digitalization can be adopted. To this end, they will need to facilitate private sector investment to achieve greater penetration of digital technologies.