Windhoek High-Level Ministerial Declaration on African Agriculture in the 21st Century: Meeting the Challenges, Making a Sustainable Green Revolution, 9-10 February 2009

Sectors : Agricultural and biotechnology, Science, research and technology general, Sustainable development, Financial Institutions, markets, services and microfinance, Regional trade, International partnerships and support for Pan-African institutions, International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade, Agriculture trade, Food security, Agricultural investment and production, Environmental degradation and natural resource management, Investment, Gender and economic opportunity, Infrastructure General, Regional cooperation and integration
Organisation : UN
Date made: 
2009
Level: 
Ministerial

Commitments in: Technology - Agricultural and biotechnology

“22. We urge the international community to promote and facilitate access to the development, acquisition, transfer and diffusion of the technologies and corresponding know-how to African countries and we call for increased technical and financial assistance to African countries for strengthening their national innovation capacity, inter alia, trough research and development (R&D) to increase agricultural production and improve competitiveness.”
Scope: 
Africa
“13. We further recognize that sustainable green revolution in Africa is needed if hunger, poverty and environmental degradation trends are to be reversed. African agriculture has to be transformed through an enabling environment of policy, institutions, infrastructure and investment in scientific research, technology development and dissemination. Success in agriculture in Africa further requires provision of the latest scientific knowledge and experience in applying techniques of sustainable land, soil and water management. We emphasize that the green revolution need to be tailored to the specificities of the continent’s highly diverse agro-ecological conditions, farming systems and socio-cultural contexts.”
Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Financial Institutions, markets, services and microfinance

“21. We urge developed countries to support agriculture development in Africa by ensuring greater access to their markets as well as provide support to capacity building of African producers to achieve compliance with relevant international standards.”
Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Trade - Regional trade

“24. We undertake to further the process of African regional trade in order to promote the modernization of agriculture by opening up new markets and realizing scale economies in agricultural input production.”
Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Trade - International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade

“19. We acknowledge the importance of the export of agriculture products for Africa’s economic growth as agriculture plays pivotal role in the continent’s overall economy. We are concerned by the high dependence on limited number of export commodities, weak technological capacities, inadequate legal and regulatory institutional frameworks and insufficient transport, storage and marketing infrastructure, and policy-induced constraints resulting from trade and policies that are biased against exports of agricultural products.

20. We are concerned that Africa’s share of international trade is only 2 per cent, and it’s likely to further decrease as result of the current global economic crisis. We underline the important role that trade plays in promoting economic growth. We stress the need to promote Africa’s international trade, including through regional integration and greater integration into the global economy and fulfillment of the commitment to a well-functioning, universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system which promotes sustainable development. We commit to redoubling our efforts towards the reinvigoration of the multilateral trade negotiations and to achieve a development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization. We call for stronger national action and international support to build domestic productive competitive export supply capacities, as well as trade support, infrastructure and institutions in African countries.”

Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Agriculture - Food security

“18. We underline the potential of the UNCCD to contribute to addressing food security, particularly by protecting land from becoming degraded, we pledge our commitment to implementing the Ten Year Strategy and Framework and call on donors to enhance financial support for UNCCD, including its fourth strategic objective, and further call for substantial, additional resources for the land degradation focal area during the fifth replenish period of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).”
Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Agriculture - Agricultural investment and production

“23. We are convinced that enhanced financial and technical support for crop and livestock research and development is a high priority, including on varieties and methods adapted to climate change. We therefore urge the international financial institutions to increase significantly their support to investment in agriculture and rural development in Africa in order to ensure food security, increase incomes and eradicate poverty.”
Scope: 
Africa
“25. We are determined to achieve sustainability of African economies and their integration into the global market in order to reduce the continent’s heavy dependence on the extraction, harvesting and export of primary commodities with minimal processing and value addition. We are committed to promoting economic diversification, including through expanded production of high-value agricultural products and the development of industries based on the further processing and value addition to primary products. We encourage international investment, technology and know-how transfer to further this process.

26. We note the growing global demand for biofuels which has opened up significant new opportunities and challenges for African food production. We intend to work to develop our biofuels sectors in ways which are consistent with our own food security and with principles of environmental sustainability and social equity.

27. We underscore the importance of securing agricultural land rights, particularly for small-scale farmers, in ensuring that the poor benefit from the modernization of African agriculture and from its growing integration into world markets. We shall continue to encourage the sustainable land management practices aimed at boosting agricultural productivity. We shall also encourage increased exchange of experiences and know – how both within and beyond the continent.”
Scope: 
Africa
“28. We recognize that women constitute a significant proportion of African substance farming. We are committed to the empowerment of women, including through more secure land tenure, and their full participation in decision making in areas of agriculture, rural development and resource management.”
Scope: 
Africa
“...5. We further recognize the need for an active engagement of the state in supporting agriculture, especially small scale agriculture. The escalation and volatility in prices facing farmers has highlighted the need for effective institutions to ensure greater price stability. We also emphasize the critical importance of governments in providing rural infrastructure, in supporting agricultural research and development, and in creating an enabling policy environment that provides incentives to innovation and risk taking by farmers.”
Scope: 
Africa
“6. We appreciate the important role of livestock in African agriculture and of mixed crop-livestock systems in providing income and food security and in reducing farmers’ risk. We assign a high priority to improving the productivity and sustainability of such systems as well as other systems characteristic of African agriculture...”
Scope: 
Africa

“...11. We recognize that agriculture plays a crucial role in addressing the needs of a growing global population and is inextricably linked to poverty eradication, especially in African countries where majority of the population depend on it for their livelihood. We reiterate that supporting integrated and sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to achieving food security and food safety in Africa.

12. We also recognize that African countries have taken a number of measures at the national, sub-regional and regional levels to boost agriculture and rural development, including policy responses aimed at reversing the decline in agriculture and boosting production to achieve food security.”

Scope: 
Africa

“14. We are mindful that African agriculture and rural economies need to be revitalized in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. To this end, we recommit ourselves to accelerate progress towards the Maputo Declaration target of raising the share of national budgets devoted to agriculture and rural development to at least 10% and appeal for international support for the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).”

Scope: 
Africa

“15. We call for concerted and collective response by African countries and the international community, working in partnership to support integrated and sustainable agriculture and rural development approaches, and stress the importance of food security and strengthening the agricultural sector, as set out in, inter alia, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme of the NEPAD. We call upon development partners including the United Nations system to increase their assistance to Africa, in particular to least developed countries and those that are most negatively affected by high food prices.”

Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Environment - Environmental degradation and natural resource management

“16. We recognize that Africa has been severely affected by drought, desertification and land degradation and loss of biodiversity. We further recognize that the key to agricultural revitalization and food security is better and sustainable land management, including reclaiming dry and degraded land to make it propitious to agriculture. This would contribute, inter alia, to offering new economic opportunities for enhanced rural development and improved prospects for sustainable livelihoods for affected rural populations while also improving biodiversity conservation.

17. We acknowledge that desertification which poses serious threats to the achievement of sustainable development and to the eradication of poverty and hunger is a global problem that requires a global response through concerted efforts among all member states and concerned stakeholders”

Scope: 
Africa