Agriculture in the SADC region is the primary source of subsistence, employment and income for 61 percent of the peoples of the region. Despite a diversified natural resource base, overall agricultural growth and productivity have remained low over the past twenty years. The urgent implementation of broad-based programmes to reverse the overall decline in the productivity of the agriculture sector is a central priority in setting SADC Member States on the path of fast economic growth and poverty reduction. The diversity of the region’s farming and livelihood systems presents great challenges to policymakers in formulating sound agriculture development strategies. But, even given this diversity, many countries in the region share similar problems and opportunities. Cooperation in some of these key areas can yield significant benefits – as can greater economic integration by taking advantage of natural comparative advantages.
An important feature of SADC MAPP is the progressive simplification and integration of implementation arrangements and donor funding mechanisms. This is consistent with the Windhoek Declaration (in which SADC governments are encouraged to take strong leadership, and donors exhorted to harmonize and align their assistance through programmatic approach to enhance aid effectiveness and sustainability). This also reflects consistency with global commitment as expressed in the 2005 Paris Declaration. SADC MAPP represents a major shift from the traditional “project financing” (and the consequent fragmented and unsustainable assistance) to modalities which support programmatic approaches. It is anticipated that funding mechanisms will gradually converge towards a common basket-funding mechanism in accordance with satisfactory fiduciary and associated financial procedures and management capacities.