Monitoring African Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP)

Monitoring African Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP)

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FAO is working with national partners to set up a sustainable system for monitoring the impact of food and agricultural policies for the first time in Africa.

Through MAFAP, FAO has developed common indicators for monitoring key commodities and public expenditure in agriculture. This helps policy makers and donors understand if policies are having a positive impact and compare results across countries and over time.

The challenge
After several decades of declining investment in agriculture and the recent crisis caused by high food prices, policymakers and investors are paying renewed attention to agriculture and food security. Interest is strong in developing countries, especially in Africa, where production has not kept pace with the rapidly growing demand for agricultural products.

Although decision makers recognize that appropriate policies and adequate public spending are critical for closing this gap, evidence to support decision making is often limited in Africa.

MAFAP’s contribution Building a unique system for monitoring national food and agriculture policies MAFAP produces a common set of indicators that can be used to measure the impact of policies on different commodities, countries and over time.

Meeting the needs of policy makers and donors who seek solid evidence about the impact of policies Using comparable quantitative indicators makes it easier to understand the impact of policies.

Focusing on country ownership to make it sustainable MAFAP is unique in its focus on country ownership and partnerships to establish a sustainable policy monitoring system. It collaborates closely with national institutions to develop capacity and make policy monitoring an integral part of their regular work.

Assessing the impact of national policies and how they compare with similar policies in other countries Having common quantitative indicators increases transparency and makes it possible to compare policies across countries.

Having objective results empowers people affected by policies, and farmers in particular, in their interaction with governments and donors.

Strengthening ongoing policy processes and initiatives MAFAP builds on existing efforts at the regional level such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). For example, it provides feedback on how well countries are fulfilling their “CAADP compacts” and if they are meeting CAADP targets for public expenditure in agriculture. This information feeds into policy dialogue at the
regional level.

MAFAP is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.

How MAFAP information is used
The system provides regularly updated analyses to African governments seeking to :

  • improve policy frameworks for producers and consumers;
  • prioritize investments to increase agricultural production and improve farmers’ incomes and food security;
  • better target the share of the national budget devoted to agriculture and rural development; and 
  • more effectively allocate the agricultural budget’s resources.

Development partners can use this information to:

  • improve policy advice; and
  • identify investment opportunities that will have a positive impact on agricultural sector performance.

Where we work
MAFAP partner countries are Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, M

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