Whether for profit or social motives - and often both - an increasing number of investors are targeting opportunities in African agriculture. At the same time innovative approaches for deploying aid to support farming businesses linked to smallholders are emerging. This blog provides a snapshot of who is doing what, where and how.

22 September 2010

The rhetoric on increased investment in African agriculture must become reality

In a continent where farming is the main industry, rural prosperity would be a development catalyst - so getting the promised aid is vital, writes Dr Christie Peacock, CEO of FARM-Africa, in the Guardian.

Do not forget that most poverty in the world is rural. Three out of four people in developing countries live in rural areas. Evidence shows that investing in farming consistently has a two to three times greater impact in reducing poverty than investing in other sectors. Yet farming remains chronically under-resourced.
In Africa, the vast majority of people rely on farming for their living. To have real and sustained impact on eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, the first of the millennium development goals, new resources must be targeted at smallholder farmers. I urge African governments and donors to honour their commitments, made at Maputo and L'Aquila respectively, to increase investment in agriculture. Please turn rhetoric into reality.

Africa's rural communities are the bedrock of the continent. But they need support to create a prosperous rural Africa which, in turn, can provide a springboard for development across the continent.

15 September 2010

Sub-Saharan Africa has world’s highest number of hungry people

At least one out of three people in sub-Saharan Africa will continue to be undernourished in 2010, making the region home to the world’s highest proportion of hungry people, a United Nations report released yesterday said.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said the region’s hunger level has fallen by 12 million this year, but is scarcely enough to keep it clear from having about a third of its population without food.

The region contributes 30 per cent (239 million) of hungry people to global figures released Tuesday, while Asia and the Pacific remains the world’s hungriest region, with a combined figure of 578 million.

The new figures are contained in the annual flagship report, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World” (SOFI) to be jointly published by FAO and WFP in October, 2010. It was released yesterday, ahead of the September 20-22 meeting in New York called to speed up the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the first of which is: ending poverty and hunger.

Full article