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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CAADP gets 34th endorsement with Lesotho

With the recent signing of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Compact by Lesotho, it has become the 34th countries on the continent to endorse the deal.

By signing the Compact, Lesotho has committed and joined with a promise to achieve the goal of raising agricultural productivity by six per cent and ensuring that 10 per cent of its budget allocated to agriculture.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the signing ceremony took place in Maseru, penultimate Wednesday with a pledge to increase investment in Lesotho’s agriculture through the principle of CAADP by supporting stakeholders.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Litsoane Litsoane said the Lesotho CAADP Compact marks an important milestone in the long journey towards the transformation of the agriculture sector.

Lesotho, he said, has now become the sixth country within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to sign a Compact, which is an agreement between Ministries of Agriculture and Finance, non-state actors and the private sector on the priorities and strategy for a country’s agricultural development.

CAADP, endorsed by African Heads of State through the African Union in 2003, aims to stimulate the reforms necessary for agriculture to have a positive impact on socio-economic growth and sustainable development.

NaijaAgroNet learnt that according to Lesotho’s census report, 76 per cent of its households depend on subsistence farming, with only nine per cent of the country’s available land being arable.

The government’s recognition of the importance of prioritising agriculture and food security, therefore, is seen by stakeholders as outlined goal in Lesotho’s vision for the year 2020 and their National Strategic Development Plan.

Equally gathered by NaijaAgroNet was that the CAADP Compact signing event was attended by the Lesotho Prime Minister, Dr. Motsoahae Thabane, later represented by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Litsoane Listoane. 

Other stakeholders present included representatives from the African Union Commission, NEPAD Agency, SADC, development partners, the private sector and the National Farmers Union.
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