Small scale farmers highlighted their contribution towards food security in their countries and in the SADC region as a whole. They related stories on how they are affected by their countries’ agricultural policies. All the farmers in the meeting expressed concern about the lack of agricultural extension support they are supposed to be getting from their countries’ departments of agriculture.
According to the small scale farmers, their countries’ national departments of agriculture attend more to the needs of large commercial farmers and less on their needs. Another important issue the farmers raised was a lack of engagement in their countries activities on the Comprehensive African Agriculture Programme (CAADP).
Having heard the concerns of the small scale farmers, the EJN reminds the African governments to adhere to the Maputo Declaration of 2003, which was signed by all AU members, which says that all governments must allocate not less than 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. While other sectors of development are also a priority governments must remember that food security is also a key component to stability, growth and development.
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