‘Put Farming First’, Urges IFAD President

KANAYO F.NWANZEKanayo Nwanze, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has urged a meeting of African finance ministers to “nourish their agriculture sectors” if they hope to mitigate the impacts of a global economic downturn.

Nwanze said:

Resuming economic growth, resolving the food crisis and tackling the challenge of poverty must necessarily be based on creating a dynamic smallholder agriculture sector.  Investing in smallholder agriculture is the most sustainable safety net for societies.

40 per cent of the labour force in sub-Saharan Africa works in agriculture and tehy produce 30 per cent of the export earnings in the region.  Keeping these farmers afloat is vital for these countries to manage their way through an economic downturn.

To help with this, IFAD is working in several African countries to boost production (and meet the food needs of a growing population) through the supply of quality inputs, like seeds, fertilisers and other tools.