Speaking in the third panel of the Brussels briefing on “New drivers, new players in ACP rural development“, Christoph Langenkamp presented the experience of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development and how it fosters the aid effectiveness agenda.

The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development was created in 2004 when international attention to agriculture was at its lowest. In the period 1978-2005, data show that not only did ODA commitments to agriculture drop dramatically, but that recipient countries’ spending on agriculture also declined. The current crisis and soaring food prices are also results of these underinvestment and mis-investment in agriculture. While the Platform aims to put agriculture and rural development back on the agenda, according to Mr. Langenkamp the prime responsibility for agricultural development lies with national governments who must ensure that this is a priority.

Although a significant funding gap exists, with around $20 billion/year needed for all developing countries to achieve MDG1, he argued that it should be possible to fill this gap. In this, it will be important to recognize the role of new players and the paradigm shift.

With agriculture now back on the agenda, it is important to make sure that it stays on the agenda, Mr. Langenkamp cautioned. For this we need inspired leadership and broad based policy making communities at country level. He argued that we must avoid a return to “boom and bust situations” but ensure sustainable longer-term funding for agricultural development. Agricultural growth is the most effective way to reduce poverty in agricultural based economies.

See more from the 2 July Briefing

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