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May 18, 2012 | Agriculture

AGRA issues strong call for G8 leaders to support African agriculture

AGRA issues strong call for G8 leaders to support African agriculture

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) will represent the voice of African farmers in discussions of world leaders attending the G8 Summit in the USA.

Food security and agricultural development will be at the top of the agenda as US President Barack Obama is set to announce a $3bn plan to boost food security and farm productivity in Africa.

Acting AGRA Chair, Strive T. Masiyiwa will address the Camp David Summit on Saturday with a strong call for global leaders to “scale up, speed up and invest up” when it comes to African agriculture.

AGRA is working with its partners to create breadbaskets in Africa through support to millions of smallholder farmers.

According to Masiyiwa, there is now a common consensus on what needs to be done, what smallholder farmers need: supportive policies, better seeds, access to finance and soil inputs, skills development and extension services, national research systems, open markets and infrastructure.

He said early results, based on AGRA's efforts to meet these needs in 16 countries over the last five years, are very encouraging.

“Because of the collective efforts of African governments, the global donor community, international foundations, research institutes, domestic and international private sectors, farmers, NGOs and many other entities, we see progress and momentum. But we must now redouble our efforts” noted Masiyiwa in a statement.

He believes “this is ultimately an opportunity to build the next growth engine of the global economy. Millions of African smallholder farmers are poised to become an integral part of that economy, as both producers and consumers”.

AGRA supports an approach that is coordinated globally, but is African led and focused on smallholder farmers. This approach must be equitable, transparent, accountable, and environmentally sustainable to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

AGRA advocates for policies that support its work across all key aspects of the African agricultural value chain – from seeds, soil health and water to finance, markets research and agricultural education.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana

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