Biotech Updates

Agric Research Reduces Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa

December 4, 2009

Results of a study conducted by researchers at the Nigeria-based International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) show that agricultural research is reducing the number of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2.3 million annually. The report, authored by Arega Alene and Ousmane Coulibaly, finds that the estimated aggregate rate of return from agricultural research runs as high as 55 percent and that doubling investments in agricultural research and development in the region from the current USD 650 million could reduce poverty by two percentage points every year.

The study however notes that the region also faces several constraints outside the research system that hinders the realization of potential research benefits, particularly weak extension systems, lack of efficient credit and input supply systems, and poor infrastructure development. Efforts aimed at improving these constraints could further contribute to reducing poverty when coupled with agricultural research.

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