Sep 13, 2011
Invest in agriculture to reduce poverty – World BankBack
Agriculture|SECURITY|Africa|Environment|Ghana|Resources|Security|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Ghana|Security|Security|Security
© Reuse this
He said at an African Ministerial conference on climate-smart agriculture, in Johannesburg, that harnessing political enthusiasm to address food security, climate change and disaster management, coupled with smart policies and effective partnerships would unlock financing for agriculture.
Steer said that one of the best ways to reduce poverty was to invest in agriculture. “On average, good money invested cleverly into agriculture will get four times the impact in reduced poverty.”
The World Bank is increasing its support for agriculture. On average, about $4-billion a year is invested in agriculture, with $6-billion earmarked for 2011, and plans to increase this to $8-billion.
“Global food prices remain high and volatile. We estimate in the last year, food price volatility has pushed 44-million people into poverty and some of them may never recover, as displayed by the impact of drought in the Horn of Africa, and floods in Africa, which has led to dreadful human suffering.”
Food production needs to increase by 70% worldwide by 2050, to feed over nine-billion people. In Africa, food production would have to triple in the next 40 years, to feed a population that is expected to double.
“This is an extraordinary challenge for all of us, but it's made more difficult by the fact that this increase in production needs to take place in an increasingly hostile environment due to climate change.
“In the absence of strong adaptation measures, it is estimated that there will be decline in some 28% in yields for Africa over the next six to eight decades. This is assuming that we are successful in bringing increases in temperatures to about 2 °C, and many experts believe that is almost impossible,” Steer explained.
But, he said there were grounds for encouragement, and referred to many positive initiatives towards a green strategy in countries such as Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Even in Ethopia, where there are plans to invest in large scale land restoration.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) assistant director-general for the natural resources management and environment department Alexander Muller said global challenges had to be addressed in a coherent and integrated way.
Such challenges, such as impacts of climate change, increasing scarcity of natural resources and widespread poverty, were prevalent in many African countries. For example, 12.5-million people have been affected by drought in the Horn of Africa.
Muller called for increased productivity and income in agriculture, adaptation and resilience of both livelihoods and natural ecosystems and pointed the need to reduce the overall impact of global climate change.
The FAO supports the development of an investment platform for African climate-smart agriculture in collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
“Africa can only successfully implement the concept of climate-smart agriculture when the international community meets its promises to support climate change adaptation and investment in agriculture.
“We need further piloting and scaling up of early action programmes, bringing together finance and investment opportunities and making them available for Africa,” he explained.
Muller said climate finance and agriculture had to be brought together and handling each one separately would not meet the multiple challenges.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Agriculture News
Article contains comments
Updated 25 minutes ago The power grid will be severely constrained for the rest of the week, parastatal Eskom said on Tuesday. "It is possible that we may go through today [Tuesday] without implementing any load shedding," spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
Updated 1 hour 24 minutes ago South Africa's economy remains racially structured, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. Welcoming members of the second presidential black economic empowerment council at Tuynhuys, Cape Town, he told them they needed to tackle this historical legacy because it was...
Updated 1 hour 48 minutes ago The failure of one in seven small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the first year of operation was not a result of a lack of access to funding, Absa South Africa head of business banking Happy Ralinala asserted on Tuesday. Access to market and relevant...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
Subscribe to Engineering News and Mining Weekly for two years, but only pay for the first year. The weekly editions of Engineering News and Mining Weekly will be posted to your preferred postal address and also gain access to:
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.