Stories tagged: agriculture and the green economy

Economy-wide Framework for African Agriculture

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released a new book, Strategies and Priorities for African Agriculture Economywide Perspectives from Country Studies. It explains the unique ability of agriculture to achieve pro-poor growth in Africa by linking poor individuals to crop and livestock production in order to achieve desired results in poverty reduction and agricultural development. It explores agriculture as a platform for simultaneous growth and poverty reduction, and ends with some key remaining challenges that Africa faces when setting the above premise into practice.

The book is a collection of research results from 20 IFPRI colleagues and contributors. It provides evidence to inform the design of African development strategies and to address the ongoing debate on the role of African agriculture. Analysis is based on ten country case studies which reflect the diversity of agroecological conditions and development challenges facing low-income Africa.

The majority of Africa’s poor population is heavily dependent on farming. Poverty is still concentrated in rural areas, whilst the agricultural sector accounts for a large share of national income and employment. Agricultural development is therefore central in development strategies to reduce poverty and hunger on the continent. From a global perspective, African agriculture has fallen further behind that of other developing regions, despite a rapid growth period beginning in the year 2000, and continued to widen the rural-urban divide in Africa.

The book provides an economy-wide modeling framework that captures the linkages between sectoral and national economic growth on the one hand, and spatial and household level poverty on the other. It uses this framework to identify crops and sectors that have the greatest potential to generate pro-poor growth.

Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia represent the ten case studies. The chosen countries are archetypal examples of the continent because of their respective agricultural production, poverty rates, and other variables that will help to realistically predict the steps forward for Africa.

The case studies were developed using a typology of African countries designed to capture four dimensions of the role of agriculture in development: the first two relate to natural resources and geographical factors, and the second two relate to agriculture’s situation in the broader economy and its relationship to poverty reduction. The ten countries selected cover Africa’s three regions: five in eastern Africa, three in southern Africa, and two from Western Africa. They also account for fifty-seven percent of low-income Africa’s total population in 2005. The book uses these case study countries to reflect general trends in Africa during the 2000s and the diversity of growth and poverty-reduction performances.

Results from the case studies suggest that, in general, agriculture cannot be excluded

from the current development model. The case studies show how even fairly modest improvements in currently low yields can greatly accelerate agricultural growth. As agriculture generates between 20 and 50 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in low-income African countries, faster agricultural growth will foster additional growth at the national level, including in nonagriculture.

Findings also point to export agriculture having high growth potential, which is expected to become a prominent part of agricultural strategies. Broad-based growth will be difficult to achieve without expanding staple food crop production and livestock production, given they have the scale and linkages to poor households needed to reduce national poverty. The case studies also confirm the need for increased investment in African agriculture, however the efficiency of these investment will have to increase if development targets are to remain attainable.

Lead editor, Xinshen Diao, comments:

“This is the first book to put agriculture into an economywide framework and to analyze the potential contributions of different agricultural growth options to broad economic growth and poverty reduction for African countries.”

You can read the book online here.

 

 

Farming First Joins 600 Agricultural Experts at Agriculture and Rural Development Day

Farming First joined a consortium of the world’s leading agricultural organizations today,  to discuss agriculture’s role in building a global green economy in the lead up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) united around 600 agricultural experts in order to ensure that the new vision for sustainable development outlined at Rio+20 recognizes the importance of agriculture and includes key steps necessary for achieving a sustainable food system. Specific examples of these steps being called for today include:

  • Greater integration and broader partnerships amongst sectors – water, energy, crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries
  • A commitment to the generation and dissemination of knowledge to improve food systems
  • A clear process towards a Sustainable Development Goal for food and agriculture

Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive of the South Africa-­based Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), commented:

Rio+20 negotiators must make explicit the link between food security and sustainable development as well as steps needed to ensure farmers, especially smallholders, have dignified livelihoods, can feed their families and have money in their pockets. For this to happen they require conducive policy environments that enable them access to markets and appropriate technology.

ARDD featured keynote speakers, including the Brazilian Minister for the Environment, Izabella Teixeira. Two high-­level panel discussions also took place, as well as thirteen participatory “learning events” that shared knowledge from various projects on the ground in the developing world that are already offering lasting solutions to poverty and food and nutrition insecurity. Business representatives also participated in the day event, showing support for increased private investment in agriculture, following on from the $3 billion investment pledged by businesses as part of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition announced by the G8 last month.

Anne Grethe Dalane, Regional Director of Latin America chaired a Farming First Learning Event, entitled “Achieving and measuring sustainable intensification: the role of technology, best practices and partnerships”. She commented on her sector’s role in agriculture for a green economy:

The private sector is an essential player in delivering the technologies, tools and knowledge needed by farmers. Public-private partnerships can play a key role in driving sustainable growth in agricultural productivity.

Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank & Chair, CGIAR Fund Council, praised the efforts made by the Agriculture and Rural Development Day Consortium. She commented:

Today we are seeing best practices in action. We know that, if scaled up with speed, these approaches could increase food production and improve livelihoods without damaging the environment. We need to create conditions for innovation and then invest so that innovation moves from the lab to the farmer’s fields.

Food security has been highlighted as one of the seven priority areas of the Rio+20 negotiations. Feeding a global population of 9 billion people by 2050 will require at least a 70% increase in global food production and a 50% rise in investments in the agricultural sector.

Growth from agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty than any other sector. Through improved management of crops, livestock, soil, water, forests and other natural habitats, smallholder farmers can achieve the triple win of (1) stronger food security with reduced poverty, (2) greater resilience in the face of environmental threats, and (3) more robust rural livelihoods.

Visit the Farming First Green Economy page for infographics and an animated video about the vital role agriculture plays.

How can we manage environmental sustainability with economic viability?

The final chapter of our infographic, “Agriculture and the Green Economy“, looks at how we can safeguard the environment, while achieving economic growth. Click on the image below to go to the full infographic where you can also embed this image or tweet it.

Part 1 – How can we feed future generations?

Part 2 – How can we reduce poverty around the world?

Part 3 – Why does agriculture matter to a green economy?

Part 4 – Where do we invest to build a green economy?

Part 5 – How can we build a more sustainable supply chain?

How can we build a more sustainable supply chain?

In Part 5 of our “Agriculture and the Green Economy” infographic, we look at how problems in supply chains directly affect food security in the world. Click on the image below to go to the full infographic where you can also embed this image or tweet it.

Part 1 – How can we feed future generations?

Part 2 – How can we reduce poverty around the world?

Part 3 – Why does agriculture matter to a green economy?

Part 4 – Where do we invest to build a green economy?

Where do we invest to build a green economy?

Part 4 of our infographic “Agriculture and the Green Economy” looks at how investing in agricultural research and development can help us meet the challenge of a green economy. Click on the image below to go to the full infographic where you can also embed this image or tweet it.

Part 1 – How can we feed future generations?

Part 2 – How can we reduce poverty around the world?

Part 3 – Why does agriculture matter to a green economy?

Why does agriculture matter to a green economy?

In Part 3, of our infographic, “Agriculture and the Green Economy“,  we examine what agriculture means to a green economy. Click on the image below to go to the full infographic where you can also embed this image or tweet it.

Part 1 – How can we feed future generations?

Part 2 – How can we reduce poverty around the world?