In the financial year 2018-2019 all the East African member states allocated less than 10% of the budget on agriculture with the exception of Burundi which allocated 10.69% despite a high malnutrition rate in the country.

During the fourth East African Community (EAC) agriculture summit that took place on May 10th in Arusha (Tanzania), Small Scale Farmer and Civil Society Organisations in the region called on the East African Legislative Assembly to lobby for member states to implement the Malabo declaration.

“We stand a risk of delivering a generation which will not deliver in terms of the work force it is a shame if we can’t work with small farmers to increase the agriculture production in the region,” said Mathias Kasamba a member from the East African Legislative Assembly.

The African Union Malabo declaration of June 2014 is aimed at accelerating agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity, and improved livelihood setting up eight goals by 2025. Among the goals of the declaration is the recommitment to enhance investment finance in agriculture by upholding 10% public spending budget and Operationalization of Africa investment bank.

The farmers’ forum is expected to present a petition to the upcoming East African Community heads of state summit signed by one million farmers calling for allocation of 10% national budget to the agriculture sector. In 2016 the regional assembly (EALA) passed a resolution for East Africa member states to fast-track the Malabo declaration by putting in place financial instruments which are responsive to the needs of small scale farmers.

“We recently called on the EAC member states to fast-track the Malabo declaration and EALA conducted meetings in member states for enhanced agriculture budget to at least 10%,” said Martin Ngoga the speaker of the regional assembly while addressing the agriculture budget summit 2019 in Arusha.

Despite agriculture contributing to more than 40% of the region’s GDP, there have been a significant decline in the budget allocation by East African member states in agriculture sector.

African Union’s Malabo declaration in 2014 aims to end hunger and reduce the poverty rate in the continent by a half in the year 2025.

In the financial year 2018-2019 all the East African member states allocated less than 10% of the budget on agriculture with the exception of Burundi which allocated 10.69% despite a high malnutrition rate in the country.

The speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly while addressing the EAC agriculture summit vowed for the establishment of the East Africa food and security commission.

The third EAC agriculture Summit was held in Nairobi (Kenya) which reaffirmed commitment of EALA to work with national parliaments topush for the realization of Malabo declaration in EAC, and sought to establish the EAC food, agriculture and environment commission to deal with agriculture and environment related issue.

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