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Gambia honours 10% budget allocation to agriculture

The speaker of Gambian National Assembly has told members of West African bloc parliamentarians that the Adama Barrow government has honoured 10% budgetary allocation to agriculture as committed to by all member countries of the African Union.

Addressing the joint committee meeting of the bloc’s parliamentarians in Banjul yesterday on agriculture, environment and water resources, rural, infrastructure, industrial development, Speaker Mariama Denton said of the 15-memebr bloc, only two met the commitment.

“I am happy to report that Gambia is among the countries that are within the target of 10% allocation as the current budget allocates 9.93% to the sector,” said Speaker Denton.

At the Second Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in July 2003 in Maputo, African Heads of State and Government endorsed the “Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa” it contained several decisions regarding agriculture, but prominent among them was the “commitment to the allocation of at least 10 percent of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation within five years”.

The objective was to eradicate hunger by 2025, poverty by half by same date through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation.

“A review of the first ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Policy 10 years ago showed that majority of member countries have not fulfilled their commitments of allocating at least 10% to agriculture sector. Seven countries have reduced the share of public spending allocated to the sector; six countries have increased the spending, but failed to reach the 10% threshold, and two countries have reached or exceeded it,” Speaker Denton reminded the gathering.

Given that the parliaments in each ECOWAS member state oversees budget appropriations of national governments, Speaker Denton urges the gathering, which comprises, among others, the representatives of committees for agriculture, climate change, water resources, to make sure that this commitment is honoured.

Author: Sanna Camara

Source: Picture: Speaker Mariama Denton

From: The Point

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