Making Farming More Productive in Africa

Making Farming More Productive in Africa

Food insecurity remains an essentially rural phenomenon in Africa. It affects the rural world more than cities because the people producing food often do not make enough to feed their families due to the lack of adequate access to means of production (land, manure, tools), and rural communities are poorer and struggle to buy food. Permanent economic access to food has become the decisive factor in food insecurity. Food insecurity is first and foremost about poverty.

AAHRED perspective on certain concepts

The adoption of innovation required to increase productivity cannot be simply decreed. Innovations must meet the needs of producers and, for health and environment, must concern the entire national communities. More importantly, innovation implies risks that farmers would consider as minimal in a more predictable environment with more secure predicted incomes that justify the adoption of new technology packages. Such an environment entails securing land access and tenure, more stable and predictable prices, and insurance and safety nets for farmers, among others. Contrary to the current widespread reluctance of our cooperating partners to encourage subsidy schemes in African agriculture, it should be recalled that developed and emerging countries have also used subsidies for inputs or outputs as a means of reducing this risk, both in the past and today. Africa sees risk reduction as one of the key drivers of the adoption of innovation in agriculture, and hence of productivity growth, poverty and inequalities. Consequently, achieving agricultural development is a necessary condition for reducing food insecurity, but is not sufficient by itself.

aahred agriculture

Realizing Africa’s full agricultural potential will require significant investment. Africa will need 7 times more fertilizer, 4 times more improved seed, at least $8 billion of investment in basic storage, and as much as $65 billion in irrigation to fulfill its agricultural promise. Much investment will also be needed in basic infrastructure, such as roads, ports, and electricity, plus improvements in policies and regional trade flows.

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