NAIROBI – African governments that invested heavily in agriculture are reaping the dividends in farm productivity and overall economic performance, according to a new report released on Tuesday by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
A decade of intense domestic attention to farmers and food production has generated “the most successful development effort in African history”, which also builds a case for betting big on African farmers. These are the ways in which Africa has benefited:
1. Raised GDP: A review of the report noted that in addition to a raised GDP and food production, countries which engaged intensively in agriculture also recorded high levels of nutrition for their citizens.
2. Poverty reduction: The African Agriculture Status Report 2016, named “Progress towards an Agriculture Transformation of Sub-Sahara Africa”, finds that after decades of stagnation, much of Africa has enjoyed sustained agriculture productivity causing actual poverty reduction in countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.
3. Malnutrition declining: In contrast, countries that sat on the sidelines saw farm productivity rise by 3 percent and GDP rise by 2.2 percent, malnutrition declined by 1.2 percent as opposed to the early adopters’ average of 3.1 percent decline in malnutrition.
The report notes that Africa remains “the world’s most food insecure continent, with relatively low levels of agricultural productivity, low rural incomes, high rates of malnutrition and a worsening of food trade balance”.
With Africa’s ambition to eradicate hunger and reduce poverty by 2030 achievable, it requires “strong political leadership backed by solid commitments by donor countries and international institutions and robust investments from the private sector”.
– African News Agency