Policy coherence for agricultural transformation in African least developed countries (LDCs): aligning agriculture and trade policymaking processes.
Agricultural transformation is crucial for the economic development prospects of Africa's least developed countries (LDCs), and for improving their domestic food security. However, in many African LDCs, national agriculture and trade policies are not optimally aligned to support agricultural transformation. This lack of alignment, or 'policy incoherence', arises in part from the fact that agriculture and trade policies are formulated through separate policymaking processes, with insufficient coordination between them. Development partners may also have exacerbated this sectoral divide through the way they have supported sectoral processes. Existing agriculture and trade policymaking processes and related coordination mechanisms in African LDCs provide entry points for improving stakeholder coordination and policy coherence for agricultural transformation. One such example is the development of National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) under the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Using NAIPs for this purpose would fit the 2014 Malabo Declaration's increased focus on agricultural trade, as well as its call for African governments to pursue improved policy coherence for agricultural transformation. In this context, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in collaboration with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), implemented a Multipartner Programme Support Mechanism (FMM) Project on Trade related capacity development for food security and nutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) to contribute to greater coherence between agriculture and trade-related policies and programmes in four African LDCs - Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia - and at the regional level in Eastern and Southern Africa. This Report presents the main findings of studies conducted in the above countries under the FMM Project to assess the alignment of agriculture and trade policies and the state of coordination between agriculture and trade policymaking processes. Based on these findings, the Report presents recommendations for development partners and other actors seeking to support improved policy coherence for agricultural transformation in African LDCs.