Alliance lauds growth of African agriculture
From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – A decade of intense domestic attention to farmers and food production has generated the most successful development effort in African history, with countries that made the biggest investments rewarded with sizable increases in farm productivity and overall economic performance.
This is according to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa through a report released Tuesday.
It is titled 2016 African Agriculture Status Report (AASR), “Progress towards an Agriculture Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
“The last ten years have made a strong case for agriculture as the surest path to producing sustainable economic growth that is felt in all sectors of society—and particularly among poor Africans,” said AGRA President Agnes Kalibata.
She said the track record was nonetheless far from perfect.
“Many governments face significant budget constraints and far too many farming families continue to lack basic inputs, like improved seeds or fertilizers. But the evidence is clear. When we invest in our farmers and in the all the things they need to succeed, good things happen across the economy.
The report finds that after decades of stagnation, much of Africa has enjoyed sustained agriculture productivity growth since 2005, and as a result, poverty rates have declined in places like Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda.
Former AGRA President Dr Namanga Ngongi, who chairs the Board of Trustees for the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, said the report should set the stage for a productive meeting when political leaders and agriculture experts converge on Nairobi later this week.
“My hope is that this incisive analysis of the current state of African agriculture will stimulate a more profound and impassioned debate about the kinds of investments and initiatives now required to make transformation of this sector a reality,” Ngongi said.
– CAJ News
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