Africa may need $400b to improve agriculture, AGRA says

Africa may need as much as $400 billion of investment in food production over the next decade to meet the continent’s needs, a report showed.

“It could require $315 billion to $400 billion over the next 10 years in public and private sector investments in all aspects of food production, processing, marketing and transport,” the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa said in an e-mailed report Tuesday. The organization was founded in 2006 through a partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

El Nino weather patterns damaged crops from South Africa to Ethiopia, leaving the continent’s countries fighting for supplies even as they have made strides to improve agricultural output and productivity.

Malawi has declared a state of disaster and about 50 million people face hunger in the eastern and southern parts of the continent, the United Nation’s humanitarian affairs agency said earlier this year.

Weak transport networks, access to energy, irrigation systems and stockholding facilities also inhibit farming, the organizations said.

 “The food-import deficit currently in Africa is $35 billion annually and could grow to $110 billion in the next decade, if we do nothing,” AGRA President Agnes Kalibata said Monday in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
“We need to bring our leadership on board to keep the momentum and move our farmers from subsistence farming to profitable business.”