African leaders must wake up and DO AGRIC

Today we’re in Addis Ababa for the launch of ONE’s exciting and ambitious pan-African campaign: DO AGRIC.

This is the issue of our time. 2014 has been declared the “Year of Agriculture & Food Security” by the African Union.  As delegates gather for the 22nd AU Summit in Ethiopia’s capital, ONE is also here to make sure they deliver for the 70 percent of Africans who make a living from agriculture.

It’s an obscenity that so often the people who feed us are struggling to survive.  Smallholder farmers are the people most connected to our land and animals, but can lack the resources to make them thrive.  Better irrigation, farming equipment, storage, market access, and women’s land rights could mean brighter futures for millions. They have been ignored by many of our leaders for too long.

Studies show that investing in agriculture pays. It could help lift 85 million people out of extreme poverty by 2024, provide jobs, and boost the continent’s economy.  We also know that based on Africa’s share (60 percent) of remaining global arable land, our continent doesn’t just have the potential to feed itself – it has the potential to help feed the world.

In 2003, African leaders pledged to invest 10% of their national budgets in agriculture – eight of them did, while the rest, despite efforts to scale up their budgetary commitments have yet to keep their promises. Explore which countries are delivering on agriculture in our interactive infographic.

Over the coming months, we will be working with our non-state actor partners to mobilise hundreds of thousands of African citizens to demand their leaders step up to the challenge and DO AGRIC.

With the help of ambassadors like D’banj, Yaya Touré and Juliani, we hope to inspire a new generation of Africans to see the potential of a career in agriculture.  And we’ll be giving farmers like Adam from Ghana a platform to say what’s working and what’s not.

Take the first step by signing our petition, calling for African leaders to DO AGRIC now.