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Stronger sustainable productivity needed to boost African agriculture, leaders say



Governments, businesses, NGOs and investors have met in Addis Abeba during the African Green Revolution Forum to discuss economic opportunities for the continent’s agricultural sector, as well as poverty and issues related to climate change.

The forum hopes to discuss and develop concrete investment plans to achieve a green revolution in Africa, which would combine the economic productivity of agriculture – Africa’s most important industry – and sustainability.

The meeting has particularly focused on how the continent can double its agricultural production by 2025, while also addressing poverty, malnutrition and climate challenges.

Kanayo Nwanze, president of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), one the forum’s partners, said, “I am proud that many African nations are becoming economic powerhouses, but without a viable agricultural sector and a strong rural economy, there cannot be a viable future for Africa.

“Scaling up productivity in African agriculture so that it contributes to the prosperity of the women and men living in rural areas is an absolute prerequisite of prosperity for our continent.”

The forum released on Tuesday a report on the status on Africa agriculture, which explores adaptation and mitigation strategies for the sector in the light of threats that climate change poses to farmers. It also stressed the need for climate-smart agriculture to avoid food insecurity, high food prices and poverty as these threats grow.

The report states that “climate change is already taking place, and it is affecting the growth and potential yields of staple food crops and cropping systems, as well as the volatility and vulnerability of the dominant farming systems”.

Africa’s smallholder farmers produce the vast majority of food grown on the continent and they are the backbone of a sector that employs more than 65% of all Africans,” added Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) chairman Strive Masiyiwa.

So when businesses, governments, researchers and farmers work together to strengthen our food production and distribution systems, they are seeking commercial success that will be shared across African society – and particularly for the poorest among us.”

A UN report published in August also suggested that investing in climate change solutions is vital to ensure sustainable development in Africa.

Photo: hdptcar via Flickr

Further reading:

UN: climate change investment could secure Africa’s development

Farmers affected by climate change could be helped by new resilient rice

World Bank: ‘dramatic’ gender gap among African farmers

World needs to sustainably produce 70% more food by 2050

Feeding the world sustainably means investing in better solutions


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