Enhancing funding and service delivery in agriculture: any ideas?

@Kataike Abong

Enhancing funding and service delivery in agriculture: any ideas?

Dear members,

I work as Policy Analyst at the Local Government Finance Commission in Uganda and would like to propose a discussion on the issue related to the challenges of sector wide policies in financing service delivery, in particular in Agriculture and Climate Change.  

In Uganda, funding for agriculture sector remains far below the recommended threshold of the UN Protocols and the MAPUTO declaration. When it comes to funding planning, monitoring and evaluation of sector programmes at the local government level, the situation becomes even worse looking at the actual IPFs to the Local Governments.  According to the draft Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the current financial year 2019/2020, the entire Agriculture Sector is allocated about 3% of the entire total national budget. Now at the Local Government level, allocation for a department responsible for agriculture in one of the districts in the current financial year (FY 2019/2020) is approximately $24,437 of which about $4,065 is allocated for planning, monitoring and evaluation.  This implies that planning, monitoring and evaluation as a function receives only $1,016 every quarter.  

How can we leverage funding for the agricultural sector so that it meet international/national targets and leads to action on the ground? Ideas and proposals are welcome.  

Under the SDG era, I believe actors at the different levels need to have a sense of ownership to remain accountable to the people.  

Thanks for your feedback, 

Christine Kataike Abong

This discussion is now closed. Please contact info@evalforward.org for any further information.

Dear all,

Apologies for the delay in getting back on this exhange. This discussion was very fruitful and I thank the many members of the EvalForward network for sharing their ideas on the problems that prevent agriculture to get more funding and on ways to increase attention and resources in this sector.

We all know the importance of agriculture in Africa. However, this does not mean that governments regard it as a priority and the share of the budget allocated to agriculture is very low in many countries. Beyond structural problems such as the insufficient tax coverage, some reasons of low attention to agriculture put forward in the discussion include lack of trust in the Ministry of Agriculture itself in some countries, the inability of agriculture to demonstrate the return on investment of funding and to package attractive programmes for donors and investors. The fact that most of the agriculture sector is still dominated by the informal economy and not able to show its contribution to GDP does not help.

Several contributors stressed the need for increased attention to the efficiency of expenditures and for a focus on program-based funding instead of funding based programming. This links also to M&E’s role, which should help in raising the case for agriculture spending by improving performance and tracking the impact of agriculture activities.  

It is proved that agricultural growth has a special capacity to reduce poverty in all countries and this is what we are struggling with in Africa. The example of China shared by Emile Houngbo is striking where it is estimated that the growth from agriculture has been 3.5 times more effective that growth from other sectors in terms of poverty reduction.

I am quoting below some of the ways forward and calls for action from the discussion:

·         It’s time we start talking about the efficiency of the expenditures in terms of returns to investment rather than focus on the potential of the sector (Tim Njagi);

·         Clear results-based programming could improve government funding and we should discourage blanket allocations  (Abubakar Moki); 

·         Enhance private banking sector financing by supporting agriculture insurance implementation at large scale in order to mitigate the risks of climate change (Jean Stanislas Ouedraogo); 

·         A number of international Agreements and Decisions could help to mobilize more funding for the country’s agricultural sector. In addition to the Malabo Declaration, the Paris Climate Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 15 and 17, the African Union Agenda 2063 on Africa we want, the Nairobi Package on Agriculture, Cotton and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) issues, the Addis Ababa Action Plan on Sustainable Financing for Africa (Paul Mendy and Emile Houngbo); 

·         The example of FISAN from Niger (Fonds d'Investissement pour la sécurité alimentaire et Nutritionnelle), with the establishment of an agriculture bank to promote private and public investment in this sector (Abdoulaye Falla); 

·         It is important for the policy/decision makers in the agriculture sector, depending on country context and underlying donors’ interests, to ensure their projects’ proposals are well packaged so they “speak the language” of potential donors in order to increase their chances of funding (Ahmedou OuldAbdallahi);

·         Establish and leverage the value chain by creating functional value chain and value chain financing to help farms interlink with markets and benefit from this (Masresha Yimer Kelkele);

·         Make agriculture a revenue generating activity along with value chain, which will create an environment conducive to private investment (Bertin Dakouo);

·         Specify and enhance the functions of M&E: the functions of M&E and its linkages to other ministries should be articulated in order to receive more resources (Kelvin).

Best regards, 

Christine

 

Mesresha, please be very careful on how much you rely on " natural fertilizers" as opposed to chemical fertilizer and taxing their use to make certain there is enough to accommodate all agricultural needs, and the labor energy in using them is fully recovered by the increase in yield. I don't think this is possible, as we have already greatly exceeded the earth's natural carrying capacity. Please review the following webpages:  

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/sustainability-of-sm…

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/organic-source-of-nu… 

 

Financing as you rightly put is crucial to implement what we pledge to implement  for the agriculture setctor and our people at large. 

Important aspects in this regard from the perspective of developing economies include:

- expanding the tax base, 

- making agriculture to be on the low carbon development path, and taxing/charging agri investments that are chemical intensive, reallocating the collection to support natural fertilizer based agri development practices among especially small holder farmers, 

- making aggressive effort to create properly functioning agricultural value chains, that are deliberately well designed and interlinked farm to market levels, rather than spot market based relations among different value chain actors, 

 - with in the agricultural value chain development, develop also what is also called Value Chain financing, among actors linked vertically, such as a brewery offering pre and post harvest financing to farmers to adopt required modern farm inputs, seeds, farming practices, etc ...  benefiting themselves through better yield and output, and better quantity and quality of farm produce (e.g., barely) supplied to the breweries. 

-  such value chain financing is helpful especially in common situations of lack of well functioning micro finance or other financing options in the rural farming areas. 

Thanks for now.

 

 

 

 

Hi Christine,

Only a few countries in the region have been able to meet the Malabo declaration target. As such, the clarion call since Maputo days has been to always call for increased public spending in the sector. However, beyond the call for increased spending in the sector by both the public and private sectors, they is need to also pay attention to the efficiency of expenditures in the sector.

For a start,  the key question should focus on the policies that guide spending across the various sectors. for instance, what are the key priority sectors for Uganda's Government? If the focus in on extractive industries, education, or health sectors, the trends on allocation across sectors can easily confirm the picture.

I believe its time we go back and start talking about the efficiency of the expenditures in terms of returns to investment rather than focus on the potential of the sector. This can convince both the government and the private sector to increase investments in agriculture.

 

I tend to agree with what Richard Tinsley has raised about what some donors and indeed some government view M&E.  To go a step further, this perception is often overlooked in evaluation because the scope of evaluations which in most situations is limited to the OECD-DAC criteria which rests on the premise that evaluation is conducted to determine the relevance and the fulfillment of objectives and whether the implementation was efficient, effective, had impact and evidence pf sustainability.  Evaluation, as far as I can recall rarely question the M&E system to see whether it truly performed its core and correct functions. The flaw starts from the fact that it is the principle and principle alone who determine the Terms of reference (ToR) of the evaluation of what they implemented or what they as donors supported. ToRs should be open for independent input from independent consultant so that they cover all areas even areas which they implementer/donor may not be keen to learn from.  In this way the value of M&E would be more appreciated and improved upon and hopefully receive better resource support.  

Kelvin

Dear Binod,

No I have not written any article or blog on this but it is an area of interest that I am pursuing in my studies.  I have observed the inadequacies in the true functions of M&E systems leading to its relegation in the implementation process.

 

Kelvin   

Hi Kelvin, 

Great insights. The issues that you have highlighted are important - have you written blog or any article on these? Look forward to hearing from you. 

 

Best regards,

____

Binod Chapagain, PhD
Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok

 

Le financement du secteur agricole est un problème général en Afrique notamment au Burkina Faso dont je suis ressortissant. Le problème de financement se pose à mon niveau à 3 niveaux. 

Au niveau des gouvernements, la part du budget allouée au secteur agricole ressort très faible dans beaucoup de pays. De plus, le budget alloué à l'agriculture inclus souvent une part très importante de fonctionnement (plus de 50% dans certains pays). Cette faible allocation, malgré l'importance que revêt ce secteur pour nos pays, pourrait s'expliquer par nos systèmes de programmation budgétaire qui demeurent globaux et axés sur les moyens. Une programmation claire axée sur les résultats pourrait permettre d'améliorer le financement du gouvernement. En outre, le financement sans perspectives de changements profonds constitue un élément de replis de certains bailleurs dans leur appui au gouvernement. Le financement du secteur agricole devrait donc se faire sur les investissements structurants qui devraient permettre à l'Afrique de se nourrir. 

Concernant le secteur bancaire, au Burkina Faso et dans plusieurs pays de la sous région, seulement 1% de l'encours de crédits octroyés par les banques commerciales est destiné au secteur agricole. Ce taux s'améliore un peu avec les institutions de microfinance. Ce faible taux de financement s'expliquerait par l'aversion au risque des banquiers vis-à-vis du secteur agricole. En effet, il ressort de la littérature que cette aversion s'explique par la dépendance de notre agriculture aux aléas climatiques. Des expériences de mises en place d'assurance agricole ont été conduites dans plusieurs pays d'Afrique afin d'atténuer les effets des chocs sur les producteurs et aussi susciter le financement bancaire. Malheureusement toutes ces expériences sont restées en phase pilote dans être généralisées.

Enfin, les lacunes dans l'organisation de nos filières agricoles ne favorisent pas une mise en place adéquate des chaines de valeurs qui sont une source importante de financement au niveau de l'agriculture. Je crois que cela est possible. La preuve est que pour certaines cultures de rente le gouvernement avec ses partenaires ont pu mettre un système de financement adéquat qui assure une production efficiente (le Cas du coton au Burkina).

Je pense qu'avec plus de volonté politique et une synergie d'actions entre les Etats africains et les les partenaires au développement, le pari du financement du secteur agricole peut être relevé.

 

Cher Christine,

Les questions que vous abordées sont propres à de nombreux états sub sahariens. Une analyse de la loi des finances permet de comprendre que des secteurs bien que prioritaires dans la prospective et dans les politiques, peuvent se retrouver en manque de financement pour deux raisons:

1) Manque de lisibilité dans le secteur: quand un secteur est dominé par l'informel et que les différentes mutation/évolutions ne sont pas bien cernées.

2) Faible contribution au développement: quand la contribution d'un secteur au PIB ou à l'Indice de Développement Humain est faible. Où que le premier point ci-haut souligné ne permet pas de traquer la contribution du secteur au développement.

Un aspect qui handicape le financement de ce secteur est l'agriculture de subsistance. A la base de pyramide, il est important de faire de l'agriculture une Activité Génératrice de Revenue. Ainsi, toutes les chaines de valeur agricoles peuvent être formalisées, encadrées, formées et accompagnées. Ceci crée un environnement propice aux investissements privés. Pour augmenter la part du budget national alloué à l'agriculture, il est important que l'agriculture contribue aussi au PIB de façon conséquente. L'Etat peut créer des taxes et impôts spéciaux adaptés au secteur agricole et aux nouvelles chaines de valeurs agricoles comme l'élevage semi industriel et la transformation agroalimentaire. Cette imposition peut donner lieu à des subventions accordés aux exploitants à jour d'impôt et par là booster leur exploitation.

Pour assurer un financement durable de l'agriculture, ce secteur doit sortir du social et de l'informel au profit d'un model économique créateur de richesses. Mais des richesses équitablement partagées.

 

Bertin Dakouo

Associé

Email: bertin.dakouo@feteimpact.com

Tel: +223 20 29 10 54  Cel: +223 71 38 76 52

Site: www.feteimpact.com

Rue 205, Porte 175, ACI 2000

Bamako-Mali

In response to Kelvin comment I would like to offer my opinion as to the role of M&E. That is primary reason  for M&E is to represent the underwriting taxpayer or other funders to make certain funds invested are effectively used. To do this by default it become the representative of the beneficiaries. The secondary purpose of M&E is to guide future projects to more effectively identify and serve the needs of the beneficiaries. What it should not be used for is being a propaganda tool to deceive the funders in making what by normal standards would be complete failure appear unqualified success. Unfortunately, as best I can determine that is exactly what the USAID MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning) program appears to do. This distortion of M&E does not provide extra guidance for future projects, but entrenches failures and reinforces them into future project while doing nothing for the unfortunate beneficiaries, Please review the following webpages: 

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/monitoring-evaluatio… 

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/mel-impressive-numbe… 

Thank you

Dear Christine,

I am a private consultant based in Zambia.  I provide consultancy services for rural development - agriculture in particular.  I understand your predicament in resource allocation to monitoring and evaluation! 

What I see as the biggest impediment is the failure to recognise monitoring and evaluation as part of integral component of implementation by management or the principle and subsequent mis-understanding of the ultimate function of M&E.  M&E is often seen as a by-the way and only turned to when things are seemingly not going well.  This is an attitude problem emanating from technically being misguided by the M&E professionals given the responsibility to guide.    

In our budget presentations the targets highlighted to Parliament are hollow, such as, "Improve food security situation in 2019" for example. Even with further deliberation of the budget speeches in small parliamentary committees by parliament, the results still remain hanging.  Hence the failure to justify higher expenditure on M&E.  Monitoring and Evaluation of most public goods/services is seen as "Follow-up" to see progress and or quality.  Such follow-ups, as I have observed, are done with no supporting equipment/tools for verification.  A public worker merely makes a visual inspection and reports back or makes a comment about it and it ends there.

I strongly feel that M&E receives little resources because its functions are not well articulated by those entrusted to do so.  Although our government has placed overall mandate on the Ministry of Planning & National Development to manage and coordinate Government's Monitoring, Evaluation and Research, the linkages with other ministries in this area is weak or not very clear.  The mandate is defined as "...tracking of delivery of public services and assessment of impact and appropriateness of policies and development programmes and projects...".  I feel this is incorrect and limits the functions of the M&E to tracking, assessments; it does not link evaluation to improving performance, accountability and learning.  This is the missing link and as such M&E always gets peanuts from the budget because its role is misunderstood.

 

Kelvin  

 

Please allow me to add to my original comment a concern about the quality of the government services even if well funded. I have a major concern with the extension education effort to promote many innovations for smallholder particularly if they are more labor intensive. The problem is that agronomist, including myself, do an excellent job of determining the physical potential of an innovation, but say nothing about the operational resources needed to extent the small plot result across the rest of the field, farm or smallholder community. It is just assumed the labor is available and has the dietary energy to handle the extra effort. Unfortunately, this assumption is not correct and labor and dietary energy to fuel that labor are in short supply so the farmers have little prospects to adopt the extension recommendations. The question I have is who within the government or development project is responsible to determine the labor requirements, more importantly the availability of labor, and the rational compromises farmers have to make when the labor is in short supply.

Meanwhile and largely independent of government effort, the farmers look for access to mechanization for land preparation and crop establishment as well as threshing and other high labor intensive activities.

Please consider the following webpages:

 https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/integration-an-under… 

https://webdoc.agsci.colostate.edu/smallholderagriculture/OperationalFe… 

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/calorie-energy-balan… 

Thank you

Dear EvalCommunity,

My take on the topic "Enhancing funding and service delivery in Agriculture: Any Ideas?" is simply as follows:

Citizens, donors and other stakeholders should develop a mechanism to enforce the implementation of the several accords and agreements that our governments sign up to, in letter and spirit.

As rightly alluded to by some members already, there are countless protocols of agreements which African governments have signed up to; yet very few, if any, are adhered to. In an earlier topic, I have mentioned that Government's should meet their financial obligations to help projects to deliver. This is evidently lacking everywhere in my part of the world. Government counterpart contributions, which our governments actually sign up to, as a precondition for the project approval, end up realizing insignificant disbursement levels, much to the detriment of the project objectives. At the national level, how many African governments allocate 10% of their national budgets to agriculture, as prescribed under the Malabo Declaration? Simply, very few, if any?

As a result of the above, commitment on the part of governments is questionable and this creates situations where governments do not take project managers and steering committee members to task. After all, most Project Managers and Members of the Steering Committees are fundamentally members of the same government. You wonder then who will hold who to account!

My take then is that governments are not serious about enhancing funding and service delivery in agriculture, and, unless this is reversed, no meaningful achievements will be realized in the sector. Donors and Citizens, as well as civil society and interest groups, including the press, should take interest in the developments in the sector. In my country, the private press, in particular, would not cover an activity organized by projects unless they're being paid. I think this is wrong. The press should cover and follow project delivery across all stages, without due regard for collecting related fees. After all, how much fees do they collect from covering politics, daily? On the part of donors, why should they compromise the disbursement by local governments, after these disbursements have been committed to planned activities and should be contributing to the project development objectives and goal?

Thank you!

Bonjour Chère Collègue,

Vous soulevez un problème intéressant et préoccupant qui touche le secteur agricole; le secteur que l'Afrique a tout intérêt à développer rapidement. En effet, le secteur agricole est le secteur qui utilise la majorité de la population active en Afrique. Elle y contribue pour en moyenne 35 % du Produit Intérieur Brut (PIB). En termes d’inclusion économique, l’agriculture est le secteur économique le plus accessible, employant la majorité de la population active en Afrique, soit 64% ; ce qui justifie que des actions porteuses à ce secteur soient susceptibles de toucher la majorité de la population. En plus, les études ont prouvé qu'une croissance de 10 % des rendements en agriculture se traduit par une réduction de la pauvreté de 7%. La croissance agricole a donc une capacité particulière à réduire la pauvreté dans tous les pays. Des estimations réalisées à partir d’un échantillon de pays montrent que la croissance du PIB due à l’agriculture est au moins deux fois plus efficace dans la réduction de la pauvreté que la croissance du PIB due à d’autres facteurs. En Chine, selon les estimations, la croissance globale émanant de l’agriculture a été 3,5 fois plus efficace en termes de réduction de la pauvreté que la croissance due aux autres secteurs – et 2,7 fois plus en Amérique latine. Ce n'est donc pas par hasard que le PDDAA (Programme détaillé de développement de l’agriculture africaine ou en anglais Comprehensive African Agriculture Development, CAADP), soit le programme agricole du Nouveau partenariat pour le développement de l’Afrique (NEPAD), a fixé pour objectifs aux Etats africains de relever la productivité agricole de 6 % par an et de porter leurs efforts budgétaires consacrés à l’agriculture à au moins 10 % de leur budget. Cette suggestion a été adoptée à Maputo en 2003 par l’Assemblée de l’Union Africaine. Par la suite, l’Accord de Malabo sur la croissance et la transformation accélérées de l’agriculture pour une prospérité partagée et de meilleures conditions de vie en Afrique de 2014 a consacré la confirmation de cet engagement de Maputo par les Etats africains.
Au regard de tout ce qui précède, je dirais que "refuser d'accorder les 10% à l'agriculture dans un pays à vocation agricole comme c'est le cas de la plupart des pays africains, dont l'Ouganda, c'est refuser le développement".
Mon souhait serait donc que tous les Etats africains en prennent conscience avant qu'il ne soit trop tard. A cet effet, je voudrais rappeler qu'en dehors du budget national, il y a nombre d'Accords et Décisions au niveau international auxquels l'Ouganda pourrait se conformer pour mobiliser davantage de financement pour son secteur agricole. Il s'agit notamment de:
1) de l’Accord de Paris sur le climat ;
2) des Objectifs de développement durable des Nations Unies (ODD), notamment les ODD 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 15 et 17 ;
3) de l’agenda 2063 de l’Union Africaine sur l’Afrique que nous voulons ;
4) du Paquet de Nairobi sur l'agriculture, le coton et des questions relatives aux pays les moins avancés (PMA) ;
5) du Plan d’action d’Addis Abéba sur le financement durable de l’Afrique.
Telle est ma contribution à ce débat de si haute portée.

Merci.

 

Je voudrais partager avec les membres l'expérience du Niger dans le financement de l'Agriculture notamment à travers la création d'une banque agricole, du FISAN (Fonds d'Investissement pour la sécurité alimentaire et Nutritionnelle ) et du Système National de Conseil Agricole.

Je vous envois ci-joint le document du FISAN qui peut inspirer beaucoup de pays. Le FISAN a pour mission de promouvoir l’investissement public et privé dans le domaine de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et du développement agricole. L'Etat même a crée une banque Agricole pour un capital d'environs  10 milliards. Le crédit aux producteurs sont stipulés comme suit : apport du Producteurs 10%, subvention de l'Etat 40% et les 50% sous forme de crédit à la Banque Agricole BAGRI. Par ailleurs des facilités sont accordés aux producteurs dans leurs apports des 10% comme la reconnaissance foncière etc...

Bonne reception.

 

Dear all,

Thanks to all who are participating and interested in this discussion.

Below is a summary of the main points raised by participants so far. 

I look forward to more comments and ideas on how to improve the funding of Agriculture. 

Reasons for poor funding:

  • “No taxes, no services”: tax is the basis to finance government and it is clearly insufficient in many countries.
  • Donors and governments perceive Ministries of Agriculture and related institutions to be problematic / not able to manage funds (and in some countries, alternative channels / institutions have been created to channel agriculture funding). 

What can institutions do to change and manage funding in Agriculture: 

  • Focus on program-based funding instead of funding-based programming;
  • Discourage “blanket allocations” and question the Maputo concept of a share/fraction of GDP without knowing in a logical flow how it is to be used;
  • Funding should be determined based on issues and interventions well backed up with evidence, and I would add here the importance of strengthening evaluation of government programs; and the interventions should be practical for implementations and be managed in a realistic manner;
  • Policy/decision makers in the agriculture sector, depending on country context and underlying donors’ interests, should ensure their projects’ proposals are well packaged so they attract potential donors in order to increase their chances of funding;
  • Engage all key stakeholders such as donor agencies, NGOs and other CSOs to effectively diagnose current agricultural funding situation and plan for future interventions.

I would also add the importance for Agriculture Ministries to focus their programs on SDG indicators, as this will also help in attracting more interest and funds.

Christine

In a recent country program evaluation I was involved in, we found that one of the main challenges faced by the Agriculture sector was the lack of adequate funding. In fact, the country was in a crisis context and most of the funding (national and international) was going to life saving and other humanitarian related activities. In addition, the donor community made it clear that long term agriculture development was not among their top priorities. To address this issue, UN agencies, such as FAO, played an important role in promoting agriculture as a key entry point to address the priority issues from the donor perspective. For instance, it was highlighted that the highest incidents of poverty, youth unemployment, gender inequalities, and social conflicts in the country are registered in rural areas, and therefore creating economic opportunities in these areas is essential to address these challenges. Donors’ interest in Agriculture was therefore renewed and translated into funding interventions to support small scale farming and institutional capacity development of the agriculture actors.

In summary, it is important for the policy/decision makers in the agriculture sector, depending on country context and underlying donors’ interests, to ensure their projects’ proposals are well packaged so they “speak the language” of potential donors in order to increase their chances of funding.

Greetings!

I've read the discussion so far with great interest. It would be fair to say that the question boils down to two aspects of the matter, viz.,

   I. Total amount of funds actually at the disposal of the government (or for that matter any organisation).

   II. Willingness and the ability of the 'fund allocators' to do their job honestly and skillfully.

This condition, 'honestly' is not very easy to achieve even in the so-called 'mature democracies'. I will not try to address the issue of how to obtain funds in the first place even though it is very important as Prof. Tinsley has noted in his contribution.

Assuming that the funds are available, we now face the question of 'willingness' of the allocators to provide support in a justifiable way. The ability involved here is an allocators capacity to assign funds in a justifiable way. However, the willingness to do so may not obtain for several reasons, viz.:

   1. Corruption in its many forms.

   2. Incompetence and indifference.

   3. Near fanatical belief in 'development theories'.

This list may not be exhaustive, but we would be naive to ignore its awful effect on our way forward.

Finally, the question of justifiability; a justifiable allocation of public funds (aid or tax income) represents provision of funds to various efforts in proportion to their significance towards enabling people to meet their fundamental needs, which I have fully described elsewhere. These are nutrition, health, education, security,procreation and what I have called our non-material needs. The last is so called because their satisfaction does not involve any material gain, eg. aesthetic enjoyment, playing games, etc. As agriculture is the principal means of meeting our nutritional needs, it should receive due priority. After all, after air and water, food is the most important thing for us. Without it, political or religious creeds, rights, etc., are only of an academic interest.

Best wishes!

Lal.

 

Richard

I am of the  opinion that, if the identified problem is clear and the evidence supports that it should be addressed, then the expected results are worth and interventions are properly costed with a logical flow, Government would still prioritize and allocate the required resources.  The problem is the Maputo concept of a share/fraction of GDP without knowing in  a logical flow how it is to be used. 

Abubakar Muhammad Moki

Uganda

I once again wish to state my opinion as follows:

For ones efforts to be seen, appreciated and funds allocated in the required areas, the following hold:

1.  The problem to be addressed and the expected results after addressing the problem should be clear and  backed by evidence

2.The problem to be addressed and the expected results after addressing the problem should have clear intervetions that have a logical flow and supported with evidence

3. The clear interventions should be practical for implementation in addressing the identified problem and realisation of the expeted results

4. The clear interventions should be able to be costed in a realistic manner to support allocation of the funds towards addressing the identifed problem and realisation of the expected results

5. With that logical  flow, funds should be provided for the interventions, to address the identified problem and realisation of the expected results.

6. However, what I observe in practice is that, funds in most cases are advocated for as a fraction/share of GDP without the logical flow of the problem to be addressed, expected results, clear costed intervetions to justify the fraction/share of GDP being paraded.

7. I therefore still hold the opinion that, demanding  for a fraction/share of GDP allocation should be discarded in preference of the logical flow as stated above.

Grateful

Abubakar Muhamamd Moki

Uganda.

Thanks to Christine for launching this interesting topic. It has been a worry for some time for me. I work in the FAO evaluation office and lead country programme evaluations in African countries. From this work, it seems to me that the Agriculture Ministry is often seen as one of the most bureaucratic and least effective in government, the one least likely to make good use its funding. I venture that the lack of funding for agriculture may be linked to this perception. Consequently, an organization such as mine (FAO) should crank up its assistance to Agriculture Ministries, not to use their programme delivery system without question but rather to ***reform*** it and make them less bureaucratic and more efficient, and therefore more attractive for national and international donors.

This is certainly the picture we got in Uganda, where half of all national treasury funding for agriculture goes to Operation Wealth Creation implemented by the Prime Minister Office and the Army, not by MAAIF (ag. ministry). When we asked why, the response we got was that MAAIF needed to get its act together rather than operate as an unstructured collection of departments competing for resources... The same picture emerges in Ethiopia, where the Government created the Agriculture Transformation Agency in 2010 precisely because they did not trust the Ministry of Agriculture to change, reform and deliver. ATA is getting massive funding from donors, far more than the Ministry of Agriculture, and the two institutions see one another as competitors.

In other words, there may be more funding to agriculture than meet the eye. Some of it doesn't flow through the 'regular' channels, because these channels are seen as problematic by donors and governments. I think this diagnostic applies to FAO itself. There is currently a debate among donors about creating a global fund for agriculture on the model of the GFATM, and the rationale for it is: the current delivery channels can't absorb more funding and make good use of it.

I don’t know if this resonates with others' experience, and welcome both rejoinders and rebuttals!

Olivier

This is a very interesting and challenging question. Unfortunately, I cannot be optimistic about solutions. it all depends on tax basis to generate the revenues needed to finance government services. Please visit the webpages on Financially Suppressed Economy and Financially Stalled Governments and see how accurately they describe your situation in Uganda. You might also look at the Uganda page on the Consumer Price Comparison. The problem is "no taxes, no services".  Trying to provide services that are not adequately funded usually results in the services becoming corrupt and civil officers looking seeking necessary supplemental income by claiming to provide the services. Please note that in countries like Uganda about 90% of the smallholder farmers have never been involved with government programs or met with an agriculture officer either extension, research or other. Yet they still survive and evolve. The links: 

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/financially-suppress… 

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/financially-stalled-…

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/consumer-price-compa… 

https://smallholderagriculture.agsci.colostate.edu/impact-of-financiall… 

Thanks Christine for raising such an important issue. For me there should be a complete change in the whole dynamics of agricultural funding. Donor agencies, gov'ts, NGOs and other CSOs should now focus more on program-based funding instead of funding-based programming!!! In this way, effective problem diagnosis could be made with full participation of all key stakeholders the results of which will inform future program interventions relevant to the different development contexts and funding solicited based on the identified relevant program interventions. This will enhance commitment, ownership, participation/involvement and ultimate sustainability and impact of the desired interventions.

I hope this helps!!

Cheers

1. Funding should be determined based on issues to be addressed, interventions identified and costed to arrive at allocations at any given allocation period. 

2. Blanket allocations should be discouraged since the issues to be addressed may worsen or even cease to exist as time goes on.

3. I therefore advocate for change of funding modalities towards assessment of issues, then interventions to address the issues, then cost to arrive at the amounts

I can provide details on how to go about the approach if agreeable

Abubakar Muhammad Moki

Uganda