|Increased investments in agricultural research could help lessen the|
drudgery of work especially among women in many African countries
The total expenditure on agriculture -- the most important sector in reducing poverty -- was still under 10% of the GDP of many countries in West Africa. This despite the committment made by the countries under the Maputo Declaration of 2003.
As of 2007, out of the 11 countries in the region with available data, only four countries had met this target: Burkina Faso (15.8%), Mali (11%), Niger (15.4%) and Sénégal (14%).
However, IITA scientists were told, there had been a steady increase in funds set aside for agriculture since then, especially after the 2008 food crisis.
This was highlighted by Mbaye Yade, sub-Coordinator for the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), while presenting the results of the first evaluation of the Comprehensive Africa Development Program (CCADP), a strategic framework to guide the development of the agricultural sector.
He also noted that there were positive changes in indicators such as a reduction in poverty incidence, poverty gap ratio, and undernourished ratio, as well as increases in per capita GDP.
ReSAKSS is a project implemented by the CGIAR centres in close collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). It is supporting CAADP to put in place an M&E system and the Africa countries to define their agricultural programs and M& E.