Ten years ago, Africa’s hunger season reached new levels of desperation. Hunger crises gripped the continent from the Horn to the southern tip. The suffering was immense. And it exposed the folly of international development philosophy and practice of the preceding three decades: agricultural development and sustained resilience, particularly for the smallholder farmers, had been woefully neglected.
Something had to change. And it did. Amid the misery in 2003, African leaders gathered in Maputo, Mozambique and determined to reverse the neglect. At an African Union (AU) summit, the heads of state promised to allocate 10 percent of national budgets to agriculture and seek 6 percent annual agricultural growth by 2008. The AU leaders also adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) as a common framework to be implemented by member states to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty through agricultural development. This would be development-led and owned by African countries, and supported by donors.
How have the seeds sown by the Maputo Declaration grown? Teeing up for this critical year, this report holds governments accountable to their past commitments on agriculture and food security and looks ahead to future opportunities for growth.