AU’s renewed commitment to support food reserves: Malabo 26-27 June 2014

Last week Malabo hosted the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union, which brought together Heads of State and Government of the African Union. The Summit was organized around the theme of the African Year of Agriculture and Food Security: “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”.
The Summit also marked the tenth anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Although the implementation of this policy has advanced over recent years and the agricultural sector has improved its performance, key challenges remain, particularly in relation to governments reaching the agricultural investment targets agreed in Maputo in 2003.  The Final Declaration includes a recommitment to the principles and values of the CAADP process, to enhancing investment finance in agriculture and reaching the 10% minimum target as well as a commitment to ending hunger in 2025.

The Declaration also stresses the AU’s commitment to halve the current levels of post-harvest losses, by the year 2025 and to combine measures for increased agricultural productivity with social protection initiatives focusing on vulnerable social groups. It calls for the establishment of specific budget lines within national budgets. The following measures are put forward: strengthening early warning systems to facilitate advanced and proactive responses to disasters and emergencies with food and nutrition security implications; targeting priority geographic areas and community groups for interventions; and encouraging and facilitating increased consumption of locally produced food items, including the promotion of innovative school feeding programs that use locally purchased food. One of the instruments highlighted under this component is strategic food and cash reserves. The AU explicitly states its commitment to strengthen reserves in order to respond to food shortages caused by drought  and/or disasters/emergencies. Read full declaration.