Improving African Agriculture Spending: Budget Analysis of Burundi, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya and Sierra Leone

(April 2013)

The five country reports in this document analyse government agriculture spending, assessing how well it is focused on the needs of smallholder farmers, especially women. The reports assess the level and quality of government spending, the extent to which it focuses on providing key services to farmers – such as access to inputs, extension and agricultural research – and the extent to which sustainable agriculture is being promoted. The reports were commissioned by and written for either ActionAid or Christian Aid in 2011 and 2012. They are based on secondary research, interviews with government officials, donors, academics and NGOs, and fieldwork among individual farmers and farmers groups in select areas of each country. The reports have several common themes. Typically, the level of agriculture spending is too low, there is insufficient focus on promoting quality key services to small farmers and there is insufficient attention to sustainable agricultural methods. But Africa does not need a ‘Green Revolution’ so much as a small farmer revolution. There is a need to markedly improve, and in some countries radically transform, agriculture spending and policy to really benefit small farmers and to focus policies on those who do most of the farming – women.

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