The portal, AgInvest Africa, provides information that supports planning, decision making, monitoring and evaluation of?agriculture and food security efforts on the continent.

?It will facilitate partnerships, inform discussions on co-ordination and alignment of investments, guide advocacy and inform policy,? said Joseph Karugia, the co-ordinator of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System ? Eastern and Central Africa (ReSAKSS-ECA).

?The portal will, therefore, contribute to efforts on alignment, harmonisation and mutual accountability under the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.?

The portal was developed by ReSAKSS-ECA in collaboration with other partners, and funded by the United States for International Development Regional Mission for Eastern Africa.

The site is expected to help monitor implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and the commitments made under the Maputo and Malabo declarations.

It tracks agricultural projects and programmes by governments, development partners and other stakeholders.

CAADP, a programme of the African Union in the New Partnership for Africa?s Development, is Africa?s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition.

Authentic information

?Until now, efforts to bring together information from different sources onto a common platform have been minimal,? said Dr Karugia, adding that the portal adds value by making diverse information accessible to agriculture stakeholders.

It is also designed to allow sector players to upload information on their programmes, but authenticates information before it is made public.

The portal currently contains details on projects in Kenya, Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

?We plan to expand coverage to other countries in Africa,? said Stella Massawe, a monitoring and evaluation analyst for ReSAKSS-ECA who led the development of AgInvest Africa.

In the database, one can access names of projects and programmes, and their locations, objectives, timeframes, costs and financiers.

In Kenya, for instance, one of the listed interventions is a project to supply 50,000 small-scale farmers with seed and fertiliser. With $5 million (Sh455 million) from the World Bank, the project aimed to increase cereal production among smallholders during the long rains planting seasons between 2009 and 2014.

The implementers, the data indicates, were Kenya?s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (now referred to as the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation).

Fertiliser efficiency

One of the regional agricultural interventions tracked is an Africa fertiliser efficiency programme that ran in Burundi, Ghana and Rwanda. Funded by the International Fertiliser Development Centre, its core objective was to help peri-urban farmers intensify production of vegetables.

Another regional intervention is the Agro Dealer Trade Across Borders that ran in Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Funded and implemented by USAid and the Agricultural Marketing Trust, the project aimed to support agro dealers by linking them to grain traders involved in cross-border trade to improve smallholders? access to formal markets.

The portal also provides users with contact information of the organisations and institutions implementing the agricultural programmes.

By Kwemoi Kapchanga, The Standard


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