Stories tagged: infographic

Kanayo Nwanze: For Inclusive Rural Development, Farms Come First

This week, Kanayo Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) wrote a piece for FT: This is Africa, about the huge potential that African agriculture can have, if the right investments and interventions are made. Part of the “Inclusive Economies” series, the article explores that statistics presented in the latest Farming First infographic, which was compiled in partnership with IFAD.

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In the article, Nwanze states that today, two thirds of Africans earn their living from agriculture or fisheries, yet Africa imports $35bn worth of food every year. He questions why this should be, as this is food that can be and should be grown in Africa, by Africans. This is money that should be flowing in to support African businesses, not outwards.

When speaking of the infographic Farming First and IFAD created to demonstrate the potential African agriculture has, Nwanze writes that the data gathered speaks volumes about why Africa lags behind other regions. For example, only around 5 percent of cultivated land in Africa is irrigated, compared with 41 percent in Asia. At the same time, farmers in Africa apply only 10 to 13kg of fertilizer per hectare of cultivated land. This compares to more than 100kg in South Asia – even though roughly 75 percent of African soils lack the nutrients needed to grow healthy crops.

Click here to explore the infographic

Click here to explore the infographic

Irrigation alone could boost the continent’s agricultural output by 50 percent, and efficient use of fertilizer has been proven to triple yields. Imagine the future Africa could have if the appropriate investments and policies were in place to realize just these two interventions.

To realize Africa’s potential, he argues, we need to dramatically change the way we look at agriculture. Smallholder farming is a significant economic activity, a business enterprise that feeds people and generates wealth. It is a dignified profession and needs to be treated as such, and not just as an activity of the rural poor.

Nwanze urges us to take collective action to ensure that Africa’s future includes a vibrant and productive rural economy, which begins on the farm. Only then can we hope to see a continent that is prosperous and free of hunger.

Click here to read the full article. Explore the infographic at


Farming First wins 2011 Digital Communication Award for Infographic on Agriculture and the Green Economy

We have won a Digital Communication Award for our interactive infographic “The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy”.

We wanted to take some of the existing data on agriculture and food security and create a beautiful and engaging infographic.


The infographic is built up of 17 different graphics, all of which have been designed so they can be tweeted individually, ensuring integration with social media.

We believe that as a sector, agriculture is essential to a green economy. With a predicted 9 billion people by 2050, agricultural production will have to increase to meet new demands, for food, feed, fuel and fibre. Agriculture must not only meet demand – it must also do so while minimising its environmental footprint and creating sustainable livelihoods for farmers and others along the supply chain.

The infographic has already been internationally recognised, winning “Best Infographic” in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Small Farmers are the Answer” global challenge competition.

You can view the infographic and download our policy paper on the Green Economy if you want to learn more.

Gates Foundation Awards Farming First’s Infographic

Screen shot 2011-06-08 at 11.40.34The Gates Foundation has just awarded Farming First the “Best Infographic” award in its recent “Small Farmers are the Answer” competition.

The challenge was to come up with creative ways to tell the story of small farmers. The Gates Foundation received more than 140 entries from people across the world. In Bill Gates’ blog post about the project, he explained the reason for his call:

The vast majority of the poorest people in the world get their food and income from farming small plots of land. Helping these farming families grow and sell more helps them become self-sufficient and build better lives.

The Gates Foundation selected their favourite submissions, and Farming First was one of them! We won the “best infographic” award for our infographic “The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy“, and our new supporter group, Self Help Africa, won best video for “It starts with a seed.”

How can we feed future generations?

Information is beautiful! Farming First have launched a six part infographic called “Agriculture and the Green Economy“. Using data from leading research organisations, the infographic tells the story of agriculture’s potential contribution to building a green economy.

Everyone needs agriculture. Agriculture feeds our entire population and produces fibre for clothing, feed for livestock and bioenergy. Particularly in the developing world, agriculture contributes significantly to GDP growth, leads the way in poverty reduction and accounts for the lion’s share of employment opportunities, especially for women. Agriculture also has one of the highest potentials for reducing carbon emissions and helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change.

Part 1 of the Farming First infographic “Agriculture and the Green Economy” looks at how we can achieve food security. Click on the image below to go to the full infographic where you can also embed this image or tweet it.