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.
SADC MAPP is designed as a comprehensive 15-year programme of change, arranged around three 5 year phases. The overall programme goal is to bring about pluralistic and strengthened
agricultural technology generation and dissemination, together with strengthening linkages among agricultural institutions in the SADC region in order to accelerate smallholder productivity. The result will be market- and smallholder-responsive and accessible agricultural technologies which will create agricultural growth, and increase incomes especially amongst the rural poor.