Small Scale Farmersí New Vision for Pro-farmer Agricultural Budgeting
Small scale farmers have launched a new advocacy initiative to engage stakeholders in East and Southern Africa (ESA) region for increased agricultural budgeting that meets Malabo Declaration commitments.
The initiative by ESAFF members has led to the launch of Vision 2025 Budget Mulimi Campaign. Its main objective is strengthening small scale farmers advocacy work on agricultural policy making and funding targeting the CAADP, 2014, Malabo Declaration and the SADC RAP. Elizabeth Mpofu a board member of ESAFF emphasized the need to ensure the Vision 2025 was followed through to ensure the targets the Malabo Declaration, CAADP and SADC RAP were met and in all the processes interests of small scale farmers addressed.
This took place during the Mid-term review of the Budget Kilimo Campaign and the Advocacy Training workshop held from 22-24 June 2015 at Blue Pearl Hotel, in Dare Salam, Tanzania. The workshop was attended by 14 of the 15 ESAFF country members from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, South Africa, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, Seychelles, DRC and Swaziland .Farmers reviewed, shared lessons and crafted new advocacy strategies for the future Budget Kilimo 10% Campaign 2025 in East Africa and in Southern, among other issues.
ESAFF welcomed the review of Budget Kilimo Campaign and Budget Mulimi Campaign as advocacy for effective participation is one of the core pillar of the organisation. In the drive for advocacy and for effective participation, small scale farmers need guiding documents like manuals for facilitating necessary processes. ESAFF farmers welcomed the two initiatives agreeing they were relevant for influence agricultural policy making in the ESA region.
The farmers were also trained on advocacy, campaigning and lobbying. Each country member was provided with platform to highlight areas of advocacy work they want to pursue in the Vision 2025. The chairperson of ESAFF decried the different challenges that SSFs are facing that include poor or bad seeds, poor infrastructure, inadequate agricultural financing meant for small scale farmers, lack of markets, poor extension services, limited participation of in policy making by SSFs and limited agriculture research among others.
ESAFF 14 country members were all in accord that they need to strengthen their advocacy work around participating in the policy making processes by participating. The small scale farmers vowed to up their lobbying and advocacy at all levels to ensure that agricultural budgets published are the ones reaching the farmers and are increased above the 10% threshold. The farmers in the EAC highlighted that they will continue convening district and national Budget Conference with local authorities, developing of position papers on budget and seed, conducting analysis of Agriculture financing to strengthened their evidence based advocacy, meeting with Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Food Security increased budgeting, access to markets and low cost as well as on land rights. The Southern Africa counterparts highlighted that they were going to continue with their advocacy work of the CAADP Compacts by engaging focal points, NAIPs, Malabo declaration, SADC RAP, seed issues, agro-ecology, climate change, land rights and access to low cost inputs and rural financing.
The farmers highlighted that they were going to use key event dates such as the International Peasant Day, farmers Day, World Food Day, International Water Day, budget consultation meetings and reading days to advocate for their issues ad engage media to express their issues. The farmers highlighted that the previous Budget Kilimo Campaign had enabled them to getting local and national leaders making commitments, SSFs getting access to more valuable information and development of more networks with likeminded organizations like pressure groups on seeds and increased visibility of their organizations. The farmers highlighted that they were going to strengthen the campaign in the new Vision 2025 Budget Mulimi Campaign. By undertaking PETs and PSAM increased their knowledge about budget formulation and need for involvement in the process
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