Honour agro pledges, Africa urged

Honour agro pledges, Africa urged

Despite an annual increase of public investments in the agriculture sector, most African countries have not honoured their pledge to channel the funds to the sector, a latest Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) says.

This is against the background that public investments in the agriculture sector rose from US$186.4 million per country in 1995, – 2003 to US $219.6 million in 2008 /14.

“It is sad to note that only 13 African countries have honoured their pledge to invest at least 10 percent of public funds in agriculture as foreseen under the Maputo Declaration of 2003,” the report that was unveiled at the sixth African Green Revolution Forum in Kenya last week notes.

It anticipates that public funding to agriculture across Africa would rise from US$12 billion allocated in 2014 to US$40 billion this year.

It notes that private-sector investment in agriculture is critical, and is needed in all aspects of the agricultural value chain, including production; processing, marketing and transport to achieve positive gains.

The report cites the African Development Bank (AfDB), one of the authors of the report, which focuses on progress toward agricultural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa that has in the last four decades approved loans and grants worth US$100.68 billion to African member countries, of which agriculture and rural development accounted for US$12.45 billion, representing 12.4 percent.

Agriculture is one of the bank’s five key priority areas, also referred to as the high fives.

It says AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy for 2016/25 will, among other things, witness 320 million additional people enjoying access to adequate calories and nutrients, and up to 130 million people lifted out of poverty representing 25 percent of the estimated 550 million currently living below the poverty line

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