Media statement – Accelerating inclusive rural and agricultural financing programme in SADC

Accelerating inclusive rural and agricultural financing programme in SADC Towards the implementation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP)

Johannesburg, 26 January 2015: FinMark Trust in partnership with SADC is hosting a regional conference on ‘accelerating inclusive rural and agricultural financing programme in SADC’. The conference which is scheduled to take place from 28th-30th January 2015 in Johannesburg will serve as a platform for key regional stakeholders to contribute to the development of an inclusive rural and agricultural financing programme.

This conference draws on the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) which was approved in July 2014 by the SADC Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security as well as the work done by FinMark Trust on the state of rural and agricultural finance in Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe including international case studies on the matter. It is expected that the combined and complementary work by SADC and FMT will help to create policy frameworks, strategic approaches as well as country and regional programmes to address the rural and agricultural financial services challenges identified in the SADC region. Already various programmes are being developed as part of the RAP investment plan which provides common agreed objectives and measures to guide, promote and support actions at regional and national levels in the agricultural sector of the SADC Member States.

There is no doubt that the world whose population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050 will require an agricultural system that produces 50% more food to meet the increase in demand. Africa, especially Southern Africa is poised to meet that challenge if there is more focus on the following key enablers:

  • Enhance sustainable agricultural production, productivity and competitiveness;
  • Improve regional and international trade and access to markets of agricultural products;
  • Improve private and public sector engagement and investment in the agricultural value-chains;

Reduce social and economic vulnerability of the region’s population in the context of food and nutrition security and the changing economic and climatic environment and

The sharing of experiences and resources by institutions involved in rural and agricultural financing.

The partnership between SADC and FinMark Trust in the organisation of this conference points to the right direction in terms of sharing resources and expertise. All the SADC countries will participate in the conference and participants have been drawn from the public and private sector as well as civil society organizations and specialized institutions. It is expected that the conference will provide the necessary guideposts for an accelerated programme on inclusive rural and agricultural financing.