DO AGRIC campaign launches at the AU Summit with D’banj, Yaya Toure and Juliani

Last week, we launched our pan-African campaign DO AGRIC at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

We were joined by D’banj, the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Economy H.E Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture from Mali, Benin and Niger, farmer organizations and several partners.

I was particularly inspired by a successful youth female farmer from Uganda – Elizabeth Nsimadala – who told the audience, “I am a proud successful farmer; I am above the salary scale of public sector servants in Uganda.  I do agriculture not only because it pays, but because I can do it better.”

Do Agric Launch

Elizabeth Nsimadala, a farmer from Uganda, speaks at the Do Agric launch in Addis Ababa

DO AGRIC is about African leaders deciding to create millions of Elizabeths after years of neglecting the agriculture sector.   We know that this is possible because growth in agriculture is 11 more effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.

We’re asking millions of African citizens to come together and demand our leaders keep the promise they have made to invest 10% of budgets in agriculture, and do more to support smallholder farmers.

Do Agric Launch

D’banj signs the Do Agric petition. Photo: ONE

D’ banj was there in person to kick off the campaign by being the first person to the petition.   Listen to him talking about why young people should be looking to agriculture for a career on BBC Africa.

African Footballer of the Year for three years running and Manchester City player, Yaya Touré, echoed the call to action in a public service announcement filmed for the launch.

Meanwhile in Kenya, musician and poet Juliani hit the farms and streets to promote agribusiness as way out of poverty for Africa youth, with support from our partner AGRA.

In Addis Ababa, the campaign launched at a joint event hosted by the Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO), ActionAid International, ONE, ACORD International, Oxfam and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.  It brought together policy makers, multilateral institutions, the private sector, agriculture experts and regional and national farmer organizations from the east, west, and southern regions of Africa.

Participants in the bilingual forum discussed a set of 10 recommendations for how investment in agriculture could be boosted by a mix of public and private sector investment as well as policy reforms that benefit smallholder farmers. These recommendations were presented to the African Union commission, along with a petition from PAFO, at a high level session where DO AGRICwas also on the agenda.

It was great to see such diverse organizations agreeing to send a common message to the African Union. ONE’s new report, Ripe for Change, documents the development impacts of agriculture investments across Africa and actively contributed to these joint recommendations.

10 joint policy priorities for the Enhanced Maputo Framework promoted by DO AGRIC

1. Open and effective spending with an emphasis on transparent and accountable budgets and the quality and quantity of spending
2. Eliminate the gender gap
3. Strengthen land rights of farmers and specifically women
4. Commit 1 % of resources for research and development and extension
5. Strengthen value chains and responsible private sector investment in markets, youth and women
6. Lower barriers to intra-regional trade
7. Enhance sustainability and climate resilience of small farmers
8. Reduce post-harvest loss
9. Nutrition and agriculture
10. Ensure implementation and results arising from the CAADP Results Framework.

Find out more about the DO AGRIC campaign, and sign the petition.