Author Topic: Push for Agricultural Renaissance Gets $30B Boost in Africa  (Read 276 times)

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Push for Agricultural Renaissance Gets $30B Boost in Africa
« on: September 09, 2016, 08:45:01 AM »

The organizers of this week's Africa Green Revolution Forum in Kenya say the continent is well on its way to an agricultural renaissance.

The forum is wrapping up with a significant boost toward that goal: a pledge of $30 billion during the next 10 years to support smallholder farmers and local African agribusinesses. The donors include African governments, businesses and development partners, many of whom have been present for the Nairobi forum.

But significant challenges remain for the continent, and experts have many theories about what it will take to make Africa’s green revolution a reality.

Country manager James Craske of Yara, a leading fertilizer manufacturing company in Africa, said quality seeds and fertilizer would make a difference.

“I think we really need to look at the farm management for smallholders," Craske said. These smaller operators need better-quality inputs and expertise in using them to achieve optimum yield and quality, "so that they can move ... from subsistence to commercial farming and become more and more profitable."

Many African countries are seeking to become food self-sufficient. It is a goal that has gained even more urgency in the past year. Low global commodity prices have hurt African economies and currencies, raising the prices of imports at markets, and El Nino-induced drought left 30 million people food-insecure in southern Africa. Fifty years ago, Africa was exporting agricultural products to the world.

A new report from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which is hosting the forum, said the continent spends $35 billion importing food each year and loses $4 billion to food waste.


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