Africa must tackle chronic underfunding in agriculture – Koffi Annan
African leaders and private sector organizations have been urged to keep promises made to support agriculture growth in the continent to achieve food and nutrition security at home and help deliver it globally in the long-term.
Kofi Annan; Chairman Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa made this call at the opening of the 2012 African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha Tanzania.
The Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete led other leaders and stakeholders to discuss how to tackle leadership policy, revolutionizing African agricultural finance models, strengthening markets, and transforming African agriculture through innovative partnerships.
In his key note address, Kofi Annan noted that African leaders under the 2003 Maputo Declaration promised to raise their investment in agriculture to at least the 10% levels of national budget, adding that promises fulfilled is promise made.
“Africa needs to tackle the legacy of chronic underfunding in agriculture, if it is to achieve food and nutrition security at home – and help deliver it globally in the long-term. The challenge is to realize a dream of a more prosperous and equitable future for all Africans.”
The former United Nation’ s Secretary General said the ability of Africa to achieve food and nutrition security, both in Africa and globally, depends on catalyzing a sustainable Green Revolution.
According to him, “climate smart” transformation of African agriculture that increases the productivity of land, labour and capital invested in farming, while strengthening the resilience of farmers to climate change.
“As well as addressing large-scale land acquisitions that risk giving away fertile arable land for other use such as the production of bio-fuels. “
Kofi Annan also used the occasion to call for unwavering focus on improving the productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers – most of whom are women.