FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ACCRA, Ghana – Ahead of the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) holding from Sept 3-6 in Accra, thousands of Africans have demanded strong action from African governments to transform the state of agriculture on the continent and harness the sector’s potential to not only end hunger in Africa but create jobs and create a better future for many millions of Africans.
ONE surveyed its members across the continent, inviting them to speak out on what needs to be done for African agriculture to deliver on its potential. Their responses were inspired. “Agriculture in Uganda is said to be the backbone but how much is invested to promote and boost it in terms of capital and technology? We have good policies but little (is) implemented on ground. Government has enough land for enough productive resource and only needs to have the will and priority.” said Simon Abiriga from Uganda. This call for greater investment in the sector highlights the fact that several African governments are yet to meet the Malabo commitments by allocating at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. Nearly 50% of respondents to ONE’s request highlighted the need for investments in order to improve agriculture in Africa. Insufficient investment in agriculture has held the sector back from meeting the food and employment needs of Africans. Meeting the Malabo commitments is a crucial step towards rectifying this underinvestment.
The potential of agriculture to curb youth unemployment depends on growth in agribusiness. However, Agriculture remains unattractive to young people as a means of livelihood due to the drudgery from manual systems of production, lack of access to agricultural inputs, inadequate access to cheap financing, poor security of land tenure, limited market access and a very challenging business environment. Recognizing this, Edna Salvatory from Tanzania responded to ONE’s survey saying, “Being an African and a Tanzanian from a farming society, one big problem that i think African nations should address is the market for farmers’ products. That being the case, the government should ensure that the products are of good quality and standard that can compete in international markets.”
Rudo Kwaramba-Kayombo, the Africa Executive Director of ONE campaign stated that “Africans recognize the power of agriculture to transform livelihoods, end hunger on the continent and constructively engage the continent’s burgeoning youth population. It is their expressed desire to see the sector rejuvenated across the continent.” It is now up to the Africa’s governments to respond to the clamour of their citizens by prioritizing agriculture in national investments.
For more information, please contact Innocent Edache at [email protected] or +234 90 2176 5342
Note to editors:
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of over 9 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Nigeria accounts for 2.8 million members. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. Read more at www.one.org