Agricultural growth is key to reducing poverty in Africa, south of the Sahara. That is why, in 2003, African heads of state rallied to form the pan-African Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which works for sustained public spending on agriculture-led growth. This unprecedented political and financial commitment in Africa bodes well for the future of agriculture on the continent. Today, signs point to increasing productivity, with much room for growth as agricultural potential remains largely untapped.
IFPRI’s new book, Strategies and Priorities for African Agriculture: Economywide Perspectives from Country Studies, is a timely analysis for informing African development strategies within CAADP process. The book is edited by Xinshen Diao, James Thurlow, Samuel Benin, and Shenggen Fan, with contributions from more than 20 IFPRI researchers and their African countries’ collaborators. It includes case studies that focus on agroecological practices, agricultural productivity, and rural poverty in ten low-income countries. For the first time, researchers use an economywide framework to systematically examine agriculture’s potential to contribute to national growth and poverty reduction, and to evaluate the financial costs of accelerating agricultural growth. Xinshen Diao will present key findings and highlights from the book. Jeff Hill and Karen Brooks will provide commentary, as well as perspectives on the path forward.