Looking to the future: African’s agricultural transformation

ID-100158788ONE Campaign on the 29th January 2014 launched their Do Agric, It Pays campaign to urge African leaders to commit to spending 10% of national budgets on agriculture, a commitment 54 African countries agreed to in 2003 but only 8 followed through on. Building on the 2014 African Union Year of Agriculture and Food Security, the campaign is drawing on evidence that greater investment in agriculture could “help lift 85 million people out of extreme poverty by 2024, provide jobs, and boost the continent’s economy”.

Alongside the launch of this campaign, ONE have also published a new report, Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation, which discusses the need for reform of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a package of policies developed to transform agriculture in Africa and accelerate economic development.

Despite having experienced steady and positive economic growth at an average of 5% per year, Africa desperately needs accelerated economic development if it is to cope with rapid population growth. The African population is projected to quadruple over the next 90 years. The role of agriculture in stimulating inclusive economic growth is significant. The World Bank calculated that agricultural growth is 2.5 times more likely to reduce poverty than growth in any other sector. In sub-Saharan Africa agricultural growth is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty.

To capitalise on agriculture’s potential to stimulate economic development, African governments in 2003 at the African Union Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, agreed to spend 10% of national budgets on agriculture and to achieve at least 6% average annual growth in the national agricultural sector. Under CAADP, governments agreed to develop country-specific agricultural development plans. [Read more…]