Stakeholders evaluate SADC RAIP, proffer recommendations for successor regional agricultural plan


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Stakeholders are reviewing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Agricultural Investment Plan – RAIP- (2017 – 2022), which was approved by Council in 2017 – a five-year plan that operationalised and implemented the regional agricultural policy (RAP).

The RAIP outlined priority programs and sub-programs to be implemented during the five years. It was envisaged that this investment would be realized from contributions by Member States and investment by the private sector, international cooperating partners, donor agencies, development partners, and others in programme implementation.

Today, SADC Non state actors are validating the SADC RAIP 2017-2022 Shadow Report. Participants from Non state actor, farmers and state actors from Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives from GIZ, PSA Alliance, ESAFF and private sector organizations.

“The new SADC RAIP should not forget country NAIPs and also borrow from the coming AU Kampala Declaration which is framed around agrifood systems with focus to smallholder producers, Investment in critical area driving agri food system transformation, Food security, nutrition, health, and food safety/SPS, Emerging technologies, Halving poverty through inclusive agricultural growth, Wealth creation & distribution for shared prosperity, Boosting intra-African agri-food trade, Enhancing resilience of livelihoods and agrifood systems to shocks, Mitigation and adaptation to climate change for agri-food systems and Inclusivity and equality in agri-food systems among others,” said Mr. Hakim Baliraine, the Chairperson of  the Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF).

The RAIP (2017 – 2022) prioritised eight programmes to be implemented during the period 2017 – 2022 by the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate of the SADC Secretaria. The RAIP was meant to:

  • Facilitate enhanced sustainable agricultural production, productivity, and competitiveness
  • Facilitate improved regional and international trade and access to markets of agricultural products;
  • Facilitate improved private and public sector engagement and investment in agricultural value chains;
  • Facilitate and support reduced social and economic vulnerability in the context of food and nutrition security and the changing economic and climatic environment;
  • Facilitate enhanced sustainable development and management of the environment;
  • Facilitate enhanced sustainable management and conservation of wildlife and transboundary natural resources;
  • Facilitate and promote improved legal frameworks, effective stakeholder networks, and dialogue forums; and
  • Enhanced collaboration in agriculture-related sectorial programme implementation.

Addressing a Validation meeting of the SADC RAIP 2017-2022 Shadow Report, Dr. Martin T. Muchero, an International Consultant, alluded to the RAIP achievements from a regional-level implementation perspective.

He said the SADC System Vulnerability Assessments and Analysis (RVAA) Guidelines have been operating since approval in 2020 to assist Member States in urban assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual Regional Synthesis Reports on Vulnerability to Food Insecurity provide an overview of vulnerability across the region.

There are several examples of achievements under the crop development programme from the RAIP 2017-2022.

“The Crop Programme has developed a regional fertiliser program that has also since been approved for implementation. In the process, the programme has also developed and finalised the regional fertilizer harmonized framework which now awaits the Ministers’ approval. The intention is to develop fertiliser production capacity within the region. A regional value chains mapping has also been completed with four commodity value chains selected for further development/investment, namely, the wheat, rice, soya, and cotton value chains. The SADC Regional Irrigation Policy was developed and approved.

“The FANR Directorate has also finalised the regional mechanisation strategy. A regional strategy for transboundary crop disease control has also been developed for crop pests and diseases.  The FANR Directorate has also developed strategies for the control and handling of pesticides.  The SADC Harmonised Seed Regulatory Systems was well into implementation,” Dr. Muchero said.

He added that a regional strategy for transboundary crop disease control has also been developed for crop pests and diseases. The FANR Directorate has also developed strategies for the control and handling of pesticides while the SADC Harmonised Seed Regulatory Systems was well into implementation.

The SADC Member States are developing a catalogue of community seedbanks and field gene banks, implementing guidelines for gene bank management, and conducting training sessions on Crop Wild Relatives Conservation planning, including germplasm collection. Conservation of Regional Plant Genetic Resources and their use for securing Food and Nutrition Security were promoted. To this effect, the SADC Plant Genetic Strategy was also developed and approved.

Under the Livestock Development Programme, in collaboration with the African Union Inter Bureau for Animal Resources, the FANR Directorate developed common livestock sector compliance standards for implementation at the Member States level. The FANR Directorate developed relevant regional strategies for the control of transboundary animal diseases including foot and mouth disease, the highly pathogenic avian influenza, rabies, and other diseases.  Conservation of Regional Animal Genetic Resources and their use for securing Food and Nutrition Security.

The FANR Directorate also developed an animal genetic strategy and this has been approved. Legal documents for the establishment of the regional animal gene bank have also been developed and already, Botswana has offered to host this gene bank.

Under the Regional Fisheries Programme, a Regional Marine Pollution Action Plan has since been approved for implementation. A Regional Blue Economy Strategy has been developed and approved. The domestication and implementation of the Protocol on Fisheries in Member States was reported as a key achievement.

Under the Protocol on Fisheries, the aquaculture strategy was developed. Furthermore, the SADC Regional Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) centre, hosted in Mozambique, was operationalised. The development and implementation of the “Programme for Improving Fisheries Governance and Blue Economy Trade Corridors in SADC” (PROFISHBLUE project) is well underway.

Under the Food and Nutrition Security Strategy, Member States have aligned with the FNSS. The FANR Directorate received €9 million from the EU towards ‘Support Towards Operationalisation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy Programme’ (STOSAR) programme for the Enhancement of information on agricultural production, sustainability and competitiveness for evidence-based decision-making.

As a result of this support, a now fully functional Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS) Platform was developed with the support of FAO. There is improvement in access to markets through the implementation of plant and animal pest and disease strategies at the regional level; and the facilitation of the implementation of some components of the Regional FNSS in SADC Member States.

There are recommendations for the SADC RAIP 2024-2030.

There is a need top support SADC Member States in the review of their agricultural policies in direct and alignment with the RAP (full domestication of the RAP).


  • Support SADC Member States in the development of their second/third generation NAIPs in direct and deliberate alignment with the RAIP 2024-2030 (full domestication of the RAIP).
  • Operationalise the SADC Agricultural Development Fund which will reinforce the above two actions through the implementation of its seven facilities.
  • Promote agroecological approaches in all programmes and projects of RAIP 2024-2030 and broaden the scope to include coverage of the full seed and food systems
  • Promote partnerships and effective collaboration including in the implementation of the RAIP 2024-2030.
  • Support in the effective resourcing of RAIP 2024-2030 implementation.
  • Support SADC Member States in the review of their agricultural policies in direct and alignment with the RAP (full domestication of the RAP).
  • Introduce and effectively implement Joint Sector Reviews to monitor the implementation of the RAIP
  • Develop and implement a rural development / transformation programme taking into account issues of infrastructure development for effective access to markets for farmers