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Thursday, 06 May 2010

Agribusiness is the pathway out of rural poverty

African governments, donors and the private sector need to act now to turn the world’s 500 million small farms into profitable businesses, said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Prior to leaving for Dar es Salaam to attend the regional World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania, Nwanze said, “What we need to be rethinking is how to turn political will into profits for Africa’s agriculture sector, 95 per cent of which is smallholder farming.” He added that this could be accomplished if African governments step up their investment in agriculture and build partnerships with the private sector in an open and accountable way. “Working to double the income of a subsistence farmer is simply poverty management. But helping that farmer to launch an agribusiness; that is poverty eradication,” emphasized Nwanze. The theme of this year’s WEF meeting on Africa is “Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy”. Nwanze is slated to speak at key Forum sessions. “African governments must create the right policy environment to allow agribusinesses and agro-industries to develop and flourish, which can provide much-needed employment for Africa’s youths,” he said. “At the same time, investments by the international community and developing country governments need to be smart to focus on the research and development of new technologies to enhance productivity and intensify production.”

Source: IFAD