In this section, you will find new materials that have been published on the topic of ‘Agricultural transformation in Africa’, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.
CTIC Dakar, a non-profit organization created in 2011 under the incentive of the Senegalese private sector (OPTIC), is Senegal’s first incubator to foster the growth of the most innovative companies that use ICTs. It focuses on entrepreneurship support programs and technology transfers to create jobs and youth employment in agriculture. Yann Lebeux, Catalyst at CTIC explained “Everybody gets the same idea of proposing a platform which connects producers and buyers, the same in the fishing and tourism sector, but finally nobody is doing it. Eventually we only supported five projects and the main problem is that there are some people with the good skills in informatics, but [it] is not easy to find at the same time people who know the farmer problems and who are able to go to the field.” In Senegal, the ICT sector is considered to be a growth factor for the creation of wealth and employment and contributes between 5% between 2012 and 2015 to GDP. This is reflected in the rise of internet users, which has risen from one hundred thousand users in 2002 to over 2.2 million users today, as well as a colossal increase in mobile subscriptions. Yet, in Senegal, 3.8 million hectares are arable land, but only 2.5 million are exploited effectively (65%). Therefore, while the agricultural sector is considered to be the lever of the national economy and a key sector for economic and social development, not to mention its strategic importance for food security, and its contribution in regulating macroeconomic and social balances, ICTs still need to be leveraged effectively to catclyse the potential of the sector in Senegal in particular and in Africa in general.
West Africa has unprecedented opportunities for agricultural growth, but making the most of them will require more effective regional integration, says a new report by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). To be competitive with large global actors, West African agriculture needs to capture some of the economies of scale that those countries enjoy in the markets for fertilisers and seeds as well as in agricultural research and technology development, adds the report. While important progress towards regional integration has been made over the past two decades, effective implementation at national level has remained a challenge, as evidenced by roadblocks and trade bans hindering intraregional trade, along with continued use of disparate national standards for seeds and fertilisers despite regionally agreed-upon common protocols. The report, “Agricultural Growth in West Africa: Market and Policy Drivers” (AGWA), comes at a time of great dynamism in the patterns of food demand in Africa.
This recent publication by FAO sheds light on economic corridors in developing and emerging countries. In their part of the world, the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors are among the main employment generators and contributors to gross domestic product (GDP). Naturally, many corridor initiatives in developing countries target the agricultural sector, which is why the study focuses on the potential role of economic corridors as an engine of agricultural growth. The goal of the book is to provide policy-makers and practitioners with a series of evidence-based, practical instruments. It recognises that while there are no universal solutions, a development tool that seems to be gaining ground is the so-called “economic corridor”.
– Who Wants What Where? African Infrastructure Demand: How Policymakers Can Respond
The new CGD paper draws upon Afrobarometer survey data from 33 African countries to demonstrate the nature of demand for infrastructure in Africa. The paper ‘who wants what where’ shows that: i) People in poorer African nations are more concerned with infrastructure (or lack thereof) while citizens of wealthier countries tend to emphasize jobs ; ii) transportation and sanitation are the biggest infrastructure demands, amongst other findings. The resulting work provides a snapshot in time of service availability and citizens’ most pressing demands and gives an insight into highly localized political and social dynamics. The authors argue that the results of these findings should be used more systematically, by both African and international decision-makers when planning for investments in infrastructure in Africa.
– Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation
ONE Campaign, 20 January 2014
In 2014, the AU is celebrating the Year of Agriculture and Food Security. At the AU summit in July, African leaders will have the chance to review and revitalise the Maputo Declaration, and to make new policy commitments for the next ten years of African agriculture. To recognise this historic opportunity, ONE’s report, “Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation” assesses the achievements and the shortcomings of the last decade. It also presents valuable lessons and policy recommendations, developed in consultation with key stakeholders, which could accelerate the pace of agricultural progress in Africa.
What difference has CAADP made to Tanzanian agriculture?
Eldis, November 2013
CAADP targets the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing poverty by half by 2015 through inter alia allocating an average of ten percent of national budgets to the ‘agriculture’ sector in pursuit of six percent annual growth.5 Though agriculture’s share of total spending has increased significantly in many CAADP countries in recent years, it is generally still well short of the ten percent target.6 Between 2002 and 2007, spending on Tanzanian agriculture ranged from 4.5 to 6.8 percent of the national budget. In 2010 (an election year) it rose to 7.8 percent of total expenditure, falling back to 6.8 percent the following year.
– Agriculture in Africa: The ‘Cow’ that Feeds the Family
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 23 Octobre 2013
The agricultural sector’s growth has lagged behind national economic growth in Africa, according to an International Food Policy Research Institute study. Speaking at a Brussels Development Briefing titled “Drivers of Success for Agricultural Transformation in Africa,” hosted by the European Commission, Badiane explained how “negative diversification moved labor from underperforming higher productivity agriculture into the oversized lower production service sector,” and how the lack of an effective industrialization policy has “impeded growth in the manufacturing sector and forced specialization in low-value primary goods.”