RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON COUNTRIES IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Bujumbura 16-19 november 2009A regional workshop on agricultural productivity and access to markets took place from 16 to19 November 2009, organized jointly by the Government of Burundi, the International Fundfor Agricultural Development and IFAD-financed projects in Eastern and Southern Africa.The workshop was held at CELEXON in Bujumbura under the patronage of the Minister ofFinance for the Republic of Burundi.High-ranking figures participating in the workshop included Clotilde Nizigama, Minister ofFinance representing the Government of Burundi; Youssef Mahmoud, ExecutiveRepresentative to the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mercy Tembon, ResidentRepresentative of the World Bank Mission; Ides de Willebois, Director of IFAD’s Eastern andSouthern Africa Division, Jean-Charles Dei, Country Director for the World Food Program(WFP); Orlindo Gragabnca Gomes, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organizationof the United Nations (FAO); and representatives from several embassies in Bujumbura(Belgium, Kenya, Tanzania).The participants heard speeches and official addresses by Mr Ides de Willebois, Ms MercyTembon, Mr Mahmoud Youssef and Madam Minister Clotilde Nizigama, who inauguratedthe workshop.The official addresses focused on the following issues: - Implementing actions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; - Food security in the countries of Eastern and Southern Africa; - African women as mothers and nurturers in the home; - Volatility in prices for staple foods; - The high cost of agricultural inputs; - Insufficient attention to the poorest farmers by governments; - IFAD’s effective presence in beneficiary countries.Following the official speeches opening the workshop, the following activities took place:Day one: - Presentation and adoption of the workshop agenda; - Presentation of the report on the last workshop, held in Kampala, for amendment and adoption. The report was approved by all participants.
2 - Presentations on: • Agricultural productivity and market requirements; • Constraints on productivity and market access; • Agricultural productivity and market access in Rwanda: Support Project for the Strategic Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA) and Kirehe Community- based Watershed Management Project (KWAMP); • The impact of livestock repopulation on growth in agricultural production: Rural Recovery and Development Project (PRDMR) • Constraints on livestock raising and market access (private operator); • IFAD’s experience in sharing rural expertise.Day two: - Access to markets for litchi commercialization: Rural Income Promotion Programme (PPRR) Madagascar; - Combating mosaic virus to improve cassava productivity: Transitional Programme of Post-Conflict Reconstruction (PTRPC); - Market access and sustainability (IFAD); - Irrigation and agricultural productivity: Improved Management of Agricultural Water in Eastern and Southern Africa project (IMAWESA); - Direct supervision (IFAD); - Financial management and good governance (IFAD); - Procurement and service contract management (IFAD); - Risk management and financial management at IFAD (IFAD); - Knowledge management (FIDAFRIQUE); - Developing agriculture through lessons learned in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo: Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA); - Three parallel sessions on: Women and agricultural productivity; Legal support; Loans administration. Day three: - Field visits in three groups to the following destinations: Cibitoke Bujumbura-Rural and Rumonge GitegaDay four - Findings from field visits - Presentations on: Knowledge management, the case of Madagascar: Pan-African Peer Learning on Managing for Results (AfCoP)-Managing for Development Results (MfDR)-Monitoring and Evaluation and Knowledge Management (SEGS);
3 Synergies between IFAD actions and civil society: Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) Burundi, Accounting and audit (IFAD) - Evaluation of posters - Selection of theme and host country for next workshop - Workshop closing with reading of recommendationsMain recommendationsFollowing the presentations, work in plenary session, field visits and meetings among projectcoordinators participating in the workshop, the following recommendations were reached: I. Agricultural productivity and market access - Achieve greater public-sector involvement in developing agricultural productivity and market access, building upon private initiatives to ensure performance with an impact on the rural environment; - Consider small-scale farmers as true entrepreneurs while taking into account the financial implications of external inputs. Collective marketing could be used to improve income effectiveness for small-scale farmers, under a participatory approach; - Involve producers in participatory research; - Ensure infrastructure performance to improve storage and speed up delivery to market while lowering costs and opening up opportunities for direct sales to supermarkets; - Set up mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of market access. II. Mainstreaming livestock into agriculture to improve productivity, PRDMR experiences, constraints and challenges - Group livestock breeders into associations to address productivity and market access constraints; - Employ solidarity chain to support production of manure and animal products III. Direct supervision: the principle was accepted provided care is taken to avoid overlap. Priority should be given to effectiveness, efficiency and sharing experience and knowledge. Decentralization of project monitoring should be encouraged. IV. Knowledge management - Open up knowledge management to other development families beyond IFAD- financed projects; - Strengthen thematic networks; - Assign sufficient resources to knowledge management (2 per cent of grants), with strong involvement by beneficiary countries.
4 V. Women and agricultural productivity - Build capacity among women and men to maximize a common understanding of their mutual roles in development and bring about a change in attitudes that undervalue the importance of women; - Increase investment in women’s work to cut down on drudgery and traditional work times, in order to free up time for capacity-building. VI. Legal support - Evaluate the sustainability of post-project activity and seek ways of building sustainability into the design of all projects.VII. Loans and grants and procurement administration - Devote more time to analysing these two important issues. Parallel two- to three- hour sessions should be planned for at upcoming workshops; - Provide training sessions on these subjects for new project managers; - Seek ways and means of reducing processing and payment times for disbursement requests.VIII. Synergies between IFAD actions and civil society (ACORD Burundi) - Capacity-building for NGOs; - Ensure balanced geographical coverage of NGOs by government. IX. Accounting and audit - Deliver financial reporting in a timely fashion; - Comply with and follow international accounting and auditing standards. X. Field visits - Take steps to provide producers with market access to enable them to sell their products at better prices; - Diversify agricultural production; - Develop and structure quality control for rural products; - Explore and strengthen the value of the local knowledge of farmers; - Develop strategies at project level to meet ever-increasing agricultural demand; - Protect the environment, specifically through reforestation, including of mountain tops.
5 XI. Meeting of coordinatorsThe following points were put forward at the meeting of coordinators: 1. The cost of participation was high given price inflation; 2. The workshop organization overall was appreciated; 3. The theme of the next workshop would be boosting agricultural production through sustainable soil and water management, with a subtheme on climate change; 4. The next workshop would be hosted by Mozambique, with Zambia as Plan B. Tanzania would host the workshop in 2011; 5. The quality of presentations should be improved and a smaller number should be included to allow much more time for discussion. For future workshops, presentations should be submitted to the host country committee at least two months prior to the event; 6. Fewer site visits should be planned in conjunction with workshops, to allow more time for meetings with farmers; 7. A joint committee should be set up for workshop preparation. Guidelines on future workshops would be prepared by Ethiopia based on the reports on the past three workshops, held respectively in Bujumbura, Kampala and Swaziland; 8. The workshop reports should include detailed information on financial issues, and the Kampala report would be amended to include such information; 9. Reports on workshops should be produced within two months after they are held; 10. Exchanges of project experience through the FIDAFRIQUE Network: Tanzania was selected to begin by opening the first pages; 11. Project financed by other donors should be invited to make presentations at future workshops.The participants expressed special appreciation for the workshop organization and thanked theGovernment of Burundi for the warm welcome they had received. They conveyed best wishesfor success in the Government’s undertaking to improve living conditions for the country’spoorest farmers while building in equity and gender considerations for harmoniousdevelopment and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.