Agricultural Policy

Strengthening Agricultural Policy Practise in Africa (SAPPA)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) awarded a grant to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to support local institutions participating in national policy support systems.  This support would allow local institutions to undertake policy advocacy-related actions at the national level in Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, and Tanzania (‘the priority or P1 countries’) between 2010 and the end of 2012. However, the support would continue as necessary since the programme was ongoing. It was to the understanding of AGRA that governments in the priority countries have created generally sound high level agricultural policy frameworks, these frameworks are not necessarily being implemented in an effective manner. BEAT is getting support from AGRA to develop a tool that could be used to develop a typology of policy practise on the continent and to strengthen African agricultural policies. This programme; now known as SAPPA (Strengthening Agricultural Policy Practise in Africa) is being piloted in 6 priority countries which are Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia to strengthen the tool and pave way for wider use on the continent in other non-priority countries.

SAPPA is a 2-pronged tool for policy practice assessment and policy practice strengthening that is under development and piloting by BEAT as a means of driving performance of the agricultural sector. The African experience, confirmed by the CAADP experience in the first decade (2003-2013) shows the existence of “good” polices that are not implemented, or poorly implemented, and in some instances there is also absence of clear policy, legislation or regulations for important dimensions of smallholder agriculture. SAPPA is a tool that addresses these shortcomings by assessing policies and designing implementation interventions simultaneously. The SAPPA methodology in country includes: an SAPPA Coordinator (independent expert) who coordinates the policy analysis teams; the CAADP Country Coordinator who convenes SAPPA Panels to review expert analyses, assess and scores the indicators. Finally the Panels, comprising of both state and non-state actors, recommend the appropriate policy reform/intervention agenda. This is done through 2 stages of SAPPA implementation at country level:

a.        SAPPA Stage 1: Assessing policy by applying the Agricultural Policy Practice Assessment Framework(APPAF); and

b.        SAPPA Stage 2Implementing interventions to strengthen policy practice by applying the Agricultural Policy Practice Strengthening Framework (APPSF).

APPAF- is an assessment tool and scorecard that is being piloted by BEAT to be comprehensive and robust and also capable of identifying and capturing the technical assistance needed for countries to respond and improve their agricultural performance. APPAF Thematic Areas are: a) Crop and livestock improvement; b) Sustainable natural resources management; c) Rural finance and investment; d) National and regional integration; and e) Systemic institutional capacities. Within these 5 “thematic areas” there are 19 “agriculture policy themes” as follows: Crops; Livestock; Soil health; Markets and pricing; Value addition; Land rights and governance; Water management; Climate smart agriculture; Ecosystem services; Public investment into agriculture; Private sector investment into agriculture; Agricultural finance and insurance; Food and nutrition policy; Inter and intra-regional trade; Regional integration; Strategy and planning; Sector coordination and leadership; Public/NSA participation, Collaboration and partnerships; R&D, learning and knowledge support systems. Each “theme” has 3 to 6 “policy dimensions” totaling 76 policy dimensions for APPAF. Each dimension represents a key principle of agricultural policy practice. APPAF assessment indicators for each policy dimension are as follows: 1) Policy exists and implemented well; 2) Policy exists but is poorly implemented; 3) Policy exists but is not implemented; 4) Policy exists but transaction costs excessive; 5) Policy exists but is technically/technologically and/or economically flawed; 6) Policy is out of date; 7) Policy ambiguous; and 8) Policy is missing completely. A set of interventions is then crafted under APPSF for each of these conditions and depending on local and country circumstances.

Agricultural Policy Practice Strengthening Framework (APPSF) is the capacity enhancement response to APPAF designed to improve and strengthen agricultural policy practice. APPSF has policy practice interventions that cut across both: a) “Policy formulation” interventions: (policies, laws, regulations, directives etc.); and b) “Policy implementation” interventions: (administrative practices, consultative processes, technical and analytical capacity, resourcing etc).