Agriculture Could Lift Millions Out of Poverty

The potential for agriculture to drive inclusive economic growth, improve food security, and create opportunities for millions of Africans is enormous.

More than two-thirds of Africans depend on agriculture for their incomes. Research shows that, in sub-Saharan Africa, growth in agriculture is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors.

Investing in agriculture now could help lift tens of millions of people out of poverty by 2024.

In 2003, at the African Union (AU) summit in Maputo, African leaders made bold commitments to support agriculture: pledging to allocate at least 10% of national budgets to agriculture, to adopt sound agricultural development policies and to achieve at least 6% agricultural growth.

Governments developed country-specific plans through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). However, progress on the Maputo targets has been mixed, with many countries falling short on their promises.

In 2014, the AU is celebrating the Year of Agriculture and Food Security. At the AU summit in July, African leaders will have the chance to review and revitalise the Maputo Declaration, and to make new policy commitments for the next ten years of African agriculture.

To recognise this historic opportunity, ONE’s report, “Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation” assesses the achievements and the shortcomings of the last decade. It also presents valuable lessons and policy recommendations, developed in consultation with key stakeholders, which could accelerate the pace of agricultural progress in Africa.

Source : New Era