Biotech Updates

Leaders Agree on Concrete Actions to Drive Agricultural Growth in Africa

October 10, 2012

The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Arusha, which concluded on September 28, 2012, produced concrete actions to transform Africa's agricultural sector. African heads of state, ministers, private sector representatives, the international community and farmers united on the roadmap for increasing agricultural productivity and income growth for the African agricultural sector. Support for Africa's smallholder farmers remains at the center of all solutions.

In his opening remarks, Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, stressed the importance of agriculture to economic growth in Africa, stating that if the region succeeded in engendering growth in the agricultural sector, it would have succeeded in stimulating economic growth, thereby improving the quality of life and reducing poverty. He, therefore, called for stronger tripartite partnerships among governments, donor agencies and the private sector to stimulate growth and productivity in agriculture.

At the end of the meeting, leaders agreed to develop structures that incentivize financial institutions to lend/invest in agriculture, especially in poor, socially-excluded smallholder farmers; reinforce capacity for regional trade through harmonization of trade regimes and removal of existent trade barriers as well as the call for governments to address the bottlenecks that inhibit regional markets from working effectively, such as infrastructure, transport and corruption. Agreements were also reached to actively engage the private sector with parliamentary select committees.

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