Weathering the storm:

Agricultural Development, investment, and poverty in Africa following the recent food price crisis

Babatunde Omilola, Melissa Lambert,
resakss annual trends and outlook report

Agriculture is crucial for development in Africa, as the majority of the population lives in rural areas and at least 70 percent of the workforce is engaged in agriculture. In many African countries, growth in agriculture is the most effective strategy for reducing poverty and promoting overall economic growth (Diao et al. 2007). The period covered in this report was in many ways a positive year for African agriculture. The G8 Summit, held in July 2009 in Italy, recognized the importance of agriculture for development and the critical need to increase financial and technical support to global agriculture and food security amid emerging challenges such as the global economic crisis. Leaders at the summit issued an official statement on global food insecurity and pledged to mobilize $20 billion to tackle the issue in the next three years. At the national level, dozens of African countries have pledged to implement the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU). This African-led plan aims to stimulate agriculture on the continent to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. To do so, countries are expected to pursue
6 percent average annual agriculture growth at the national level, allocate
10 percent of national budgets to the agricultural sector, and improve overall policy efficiency through peer-review and accountability.