The Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) started this petition to THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY HEADS OF STATE and 2 others
For the benefit of over 130 million small-scale farmers (crop growers, pastoralists, fisherfolks and foresters), we kindly demand East African Community (EAC) states make it mandatory (legal requirement) as from 2019/2020 budget to allocate not less than 10 percent of national budget to agriculture sector.
Why Agriculture and Small Scale Farmers
- Small scale farmers, mostly women, comprise the majority population and feed the world, Africa inclusive.
- Agriculture has potential to uplift poor people out of poverty eleven more times than other sectors like oil and gas in Africa,
- Agriculture is number ONE employer in EAC region and one of the key contributor to GDP
- Agriculture is the main source of raw materials for industrialisation drive in the region and
- Investment in agriculture is the cornerstone to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and African Agenda 2063.
This petition is by small scale farmers (SSFs), individuals and Non State Actors. It is a demand to the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State through EAC Council of Ministers, Secretary General and the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to speedily and progressively implement the Malabo Declaration in all EAC States.
By putting in place concrete plans and timeframe to realise the Malabo Declaration as well as the Zanzibar Resolution on Malabo from the budget of 2019/2020 will ensure progressive realisation of adequate public financing into agriculture to the level of 10%; ending hunger and malnourishment among citizenry especially children; halving poverty; increase trade and enhance resilience due to climate variability.
Small Scale farming plays a key role in agriculture, especially by women who are the backbone of agriculture and food production in the EAC region as they constitute most of the farming population by producing about 80% of the total food produced.
Nevertheless, Small Scale Farmers are excluded from conversations that determine agricultural policies. We suffer from poverty, hunger and malnutrition due to failure of implementation of commitments on agriculture development made at national, regional and continental levels for their benefits. This includes African Union crafted Malabo Declaration as a pathway to agricultural transformation. Fulfilling the declaration would improve sustainable agriculture to end hunger and malnutrition to nearly 50% of EAC children, alleviate poverty of 1/2 of population and boost intra regional trade.
Since the signing of the Maputo Declaration 15 years ago, majority African states have been allocating, disbursing and utilising far away down from the agreed 10% of the national budgets. This has left Small Scale Farmers and civil society organisations demanding every year for increased financing for Agriculture. The 3rd East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Zanzibar on 20th October 2016 heard farmers cries and came out with a resolution for fast tracking the implementation and domestication of Malabo Declaration. This came about after ESAFF, Trust Africa, Actionaid, KESSFF- Kenya, ESAFF Uganda, ESAFF Burundi, APPPE Rwanda, CNC, ANSAF and Oxfam actively engaged the East African Legislative Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources.
Small Scale Farmers and Non State Actors, hereby, petition the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State and their governments, to within one year:
- Ensure that each EAC State develops a multi-year action plan and make it mandatory (legal requirement) as from the budget of 2019/2020 to progressively allocate and release at least 10% of national budget to agriculture sector and operationalise agriculture Investment Banks; Commit to end hunger and malnutrition by doubling productivity and reduction of post-harvest loss; Commit to reduce poverty by half by sustaining annual agriculture growth by at least 6% and create job opportunities to at least 30% of the youth in agriculture. Also, the budget should commit to triple intra Africa Trade in agricultural commodities and services and to allocate budget to enhance resilience in livelihood and production among Small Scale producers in the advent of climate variability and other shocks.
- Ensure in each of EAC Member States a just and fair disbursement system of 10% from the annual agriculture budget in support of smallholder farmers especially the youth and women at the grassroots level who make 70% of the agriculture labour force in the region. The 10% funding to be as well directed to agroecological agriculture that is sustainable, promotes diversity, preserves and promotes local seeds varieties and community owned improved seeds, preserves agro biodiversity, soil, water and living organisms and where Small Scale Farmers have access to financing, extension services, responsive participatory research, suitable technology and equitable markets.
- Ensure that each EAC Member State put in place and operationalise national and regional platforms for enhancing mutual accountability to actions and results where all stakeholders will regularly review plans and implementation of the Malabo Declaration of 2014 and EALA Zanzibar Resolution of 2016 before are submitted to the African Union.
The proposed concrete plans will bring far reaching prosperity to smallholder farmers in the region, thus should be clearly implemented from the 2019/2020 to 2024/2025 national budgets.
This petition is a collaboration of the following organisations:
- The Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) HQ
- East Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) http://www.eaffu.org/
- Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA)
- The Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) Uganda
- Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum (KESSFF)
- ESAFF Burundi
- ESAFF Rwanda/APPPE
- The Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG)
- Food Right Alliance (FRA)
- East African Civil Society Organisation Forum (EACSOF)
- Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF)
- CAADP Non State Actors Coalition (CNC)
- PELUM Associations
- African Biosafety Network (ABN)
- Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
Kindly sign the petition to support East African small scale farmers’ demands.