Africa Agriculture Status Report 2018: Policy changes, not just ‘seeds, weather, and soil’

September 24, 2018
A translation for this article is available in French

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has released their Africa Agriculture Status Report 2018. In this report, they argue that African nations will struggle to grow their economies and combat poverty unless governments take action to support farmers.

They argue that political support is “more important than seeds, weather, and soil.”

“There is no economy in the world that has grown without its foundation rooted in agriculture as the engine,” said Boaz Keizire, the head of policy and advocacy at AGRA.

The report lauds Rwanda and Ethiopia as models of pairing political will with government action to transform small-scale farms into “poverty-fighting powerhouses.”

Opponents have criticized leaders of both countries for running what they describe as authoritarian states, raising questions about whether agricultural transformation might be more effective under strongman leaders.

Mr. Keizire, one of the report’s authors, says agricultural success in African nations requires political energy, targeted policy reforms, government capacity, and an enabling environment for agribusiness.

The report also notes that political momentum and government capabilities for backing agricultural transformation are improving in countries such as Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali, and Zambia.

To read the full report, Africa Agriculture Status Report 2018: Catalyzing Government Capacity to Drive Agricultural Transformation, go to: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/AASR-2018.pdf

To read the full story about the report’s launch, from which this article was adapted, read the article “Africa’s farmers need political support more than ‘seeds, weather and soil,’” published by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Find the full story here: http://news.trust.org/item/20180905152748-3wewl/