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Fourteen African countries to examine value for money in agriculture spending: CABRI dialogue

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (14 April, 2014) – A billion people around the world face severe poverty and hunger and two billion are malnourished. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and they do so with low levels of agricultural productivity. Food Security is one of the most important development needs of our time. A glaring gap in the agriculture sector has often been inappropriate policies, and inadequate planning and budget allocations that are compounded by inefficiencies throughout the value-chain.

What can African Ministries of Finance and Agriculture do to ensure that they get most ‘bang for their buck’ in their agriculture interventions?

Senior officials from 14 African countries and several international experts will meet in Johannesburg, South Africa to discuss impact evaluation tools and evidence-based policy making for the Agriculture Sector on the continent at the second Agriculture Sector Dialogue of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI).

The Agriculture Dialogue will be hosted at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Sandton, South Africa from 14-15 April 2014. The theme of the meeting is “Tools to Evaluate Impact in Agriculture Spending”. Based on evidence from a variety of African case studies, this dialogue aimstowards providing an opportunity for government officials to share ideas and obtain an in-depth understanding of the monitoring tools that can influence policy decisions in the agriculture sector and improving efficiency in spending in agriculture. CABRI has established dialogues as an additional peer learning mechanism comprising thematic seminars for a small number of countries to allow for in-depth exchange of knowledge and experience. The discussions focus on instruments that can assist policy officials in making the difficult decisions: (i) how to decide which policy intervention will deliver more value for money; and (ii) to determine whether funds are being spent efficiently and effectively. Another goal of the dialogue is to improve the communication and mutual understanding between finance and line ministries.

The Agriculture Sector Dialogue in South Africa is the fourth in a series of sector dialogues. Previous CABRI dialogues have focused on the health, education and infrastructure sectors. Policy officials and international experts from various organisations across the globe will engage in roundtables, panel discussions and group work to examine specific challenges and agriculture financing mechanisms. The discussions will be based on a set of background studies undertaken by CABRI that address specific agricultural policy issues in Africa and provide a set of recommendations that can be implemented in African countries.

CABRI is a professional network of senior budget officials of African Ministries of Finance and/or Planning. In line with the motto: “Connect – Share – Reform”, CABRI events provide an opportunity for senior budget officials and representatives from line ministries to connect and exchange experiences and knowledge with their African peers.

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