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Khartoum (Sudan): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning held a one day Business Meeting to launch the Implementation Process of the IGAD Regional Agriculture Investment Plan in Khartoum, Sudan in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

This high-level forum allowed stakeholders and partners to interact with IGAD in order to renew their commitment made at the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) compact signing in 2013 in Kampala with more specificity to the form and extent of financial and technical support for the implementation of the IGAD Agricultural Investment Plan (RAIP) 2016-2020.

During a short opening ceremony presided over by the State Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Sudan, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, HE Amb. (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, reminded the audience that the whole process started with the signing of IGAD CAADP three years ago. “Also, we are here today on the footprints of the Ministerial Validation Meeting of the IGAD RAIP held in Addis Ababa three weeks ago”, he continued.

“This is a business meeting where we will focus on the operationalisation of what was agreed upon. I thank all of you for your presence to this important event”, he said.

Representatives from the FAO, the New Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) of the African Union, and the Embassy of Italy to Sudan and Co-chair of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) pledged support to the process.

A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia in his capacity as Chair of IGAD, highlighted the added value brought by the IGAD RAIP and thanked all partners who will place themselves in a position to support the process.

The State Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Sudan, HE Mr. Yagoub Mohamed, highlighted the event as a key opportunity for “Member States, IGAD Secretariat, donors, development partners, and NGOs to mobilize necessary resources to implement” the IGAD RAIP.

He briefed the audience on the recently signed National Agriculture Investment Plan for Sudan under the CAADP, and also on the broader efforts by his government in the field of agriculture development before declaring the forum open.

The objectives of the IGAD RAIP are to: intensify the sustainable production systems; enhance commodity value chains and sustainable agri-businesses; promote institutional development and support the capacity development of actors along the value chains.

The IGAD-RAIP is a five-year investment plan which maps the investments and implementation mechanisms required to contribute towards achieving the CAADP targets and responding to the challenges and emerging development issues facing the region as reflected in the IGAD Regional Strategy 2010- 2015 and 2016-2020, and IGAD IDDRSI Strategy 2013-2017; while being aligned with and aiming to respond to the Malabo IS&RM Targets for 2025, the AU Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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