Less oil, more farms

Continent needs vibrant agriculture sector - UN

20 December 2016 | Agriculture

The International Fund for Agricultural Development has urged African countries to prioritise farming over oil production.

African countries need to increase their focus on agriculture investment and lessen emphasis on oil and mining to improve food security for their citizens, a United Nations agency said.

Most African governments have focused on growth in extractive industries such as oil and mining, resulting in some neglect of agriculture, said Kanayo Nwanze, the president of the United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). That's heightened food insecurity and crippled opportunities for the majority of the continent's population that lives in rural areas, he said in a telephone interview from London.

“Oil hasn't fed people,” Nwanze said. “It has enriched the pockets of a few people and the majority have become poorer. A vibrant agricultural sector not only feeds your population, it creates jobs, it generates wealth and it will keep people on their land.”

Countries such as Nigeria, the continent's most-populous nation, Angola and Zambia rely on exports of commodities such as oil, natural gas and copper for revenue. Their vulnerability to price swings was laid bare last year as commodity prices collapsed, leading some nations to seek help from the International Monetary Fund. Agriculture comprised about 17% of sub-Saharan Africa's gross domestic product in 2015, while industry, which includes mining and manufacturing, accounted for about 25%, World Bank data shows.

While each nation is different, “there is no doubt that African countries in general are not providing the minimum allocation of resources as agreed in the Maputo Declaration of 2003,” Nwanze said. The agreement, signed by most African states, obliges countries to allocate 10% of their budget to agriculture development. There are probably eight countries that have done it consistently, according to Nwanze.

“Africa's development is not going to be sustained or maintained by the extractive industries or non-farm sector,” Nwanze said last week. “The rural agriculture communities are the backbone of development.”



Bottom of Form

There are signs of change. Nigeria, which relies on oil for two-thirds of state revenue and 90% of foreign-currency earnings, is turning to farming as dwindling oil income has driven the economy to the brink of its first full-year contraction in 25 years and more people go hungry. The government plans to capitalise the state-owned Bank of Agriculture Limited with US$3.2 billion so it can lend to farming projects at less than half the commercial rate.

About 45% of IFAD's investments in loans and grants go to sub-Saharan Africa, which has 25% of the world's arable land, but generates only 10% of its agricultural output, according to IFAD. The organisation's investment on the continent more than doubled to US$2.7 billion in 2015 from 2009.



BLOOMBERG

Similar News

 

Food security still problematic

4 days ago - 13 October 2017 | Agriculture

The livestock and meat sector plays a critical role in economic growth and job creation in Namibia, and specifically in food security. However, the country...

Donkey saga: Fu Hai claims it has green light

5 days ago - 12 October 2017 | Agriculture

JANA-MARI SMITHA notice asking for help to process blood and organic waste from a planned cattle and donkey abattoir in Outjo strongly suggests that the...

Red Line can go - Alweendo

5 days ago - 12 October 2017 | Agriculture

A new approach is needed to allow the removal of the veterinary cordon fence as a way of incorporating all Namibians into the mainstream economy,...

Act causes concern

6 days ago - 11 October 2017 | Agriculture

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bill which has been under discussion for nearly 20 years to replace the Nature Conservation Ordinance of 1975 was...

'We rely on cattle'

6 days ago - 11 October 2017 | Agriculture

The agricultural sector in Namibia remains largely livestock driven, giving the country a large dependency on a single agricultural activity.It is therefore important for the...

Small-stock sector must reinvent itself

1 week ago - 06 October 2017 | Agriculture

Small-stock farmers have been urged to make use of opportunities to improve small-stock marketing.Market analyst Daniel Motinga said this at a Business7 event at the...

Namibia tightens poultry ban

1 week ago - 05 October 2017 | Agriculture

Namibia has reintroduced a complete ban on poultry imports from South Africa, including poultry feed, as the bird flu (H5N8) outbreak in that country is...

Kavango and Zambezi can ensure food security

1 week ago - 05 October 2017 | Agriculture

The Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions have the potential to become the breadbasket of Namibia, the secretary-general of the DTA of Namibia, Manuel...

Farming water demand jumps

1 week ago - 05 October 2017 | Agriculture

Namibia's total water demand is expected to increase from 426.7 million cubic metres utilised in 2015 to 635.6 million by 2025. The bulk of this...

Namibia's exporting jobs

1 week ago - 04 October 2017 | Agriculture

Namibia is exporting local job opportunities within the agricultural sector by allowing value addition to take place outside the country. Furthermore, the country, because it...

Latest News

Teachers' demo on for today

4 hours ago | Labour

Teachers are determined to stage protests today to express their frustration with the ministry's delay in publishing the vacancy bulletin for next year.This protest action...

NEFF blames councils for failed...

4 hours ago | Politics

ILENI NANDJATOThe Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) blame local authorities for the failure of their grandiose N$3 billion housing scheme.The party says local councils did...

Namibia's hunger pangs lessen

4 hours ago | Economics

Good progress has been made over the past 25 years to reduce Namibia's hunger levels by 27%, the Global Hunger Index shows.According to the latest...

New minimum wage for farmworkers

4 hours ago | Labour

The minimum wage for farmworkers has been increased by 25% and will come into force on 1 November this year. This follows successful negotiations...

Can Swapo heal itself?

4 hours ago | Politics

Political analysts are concerned that the once “mighty” Swapo may not make it in one piece through its highly anticipated elective congress next month. ...

Speaker seeks Finnish help in...

4 hours ago | Government

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, is concerned about increasing cases of gender-based violence in Namibia and appealed to the Finnish political leadership...

Struggle vet seeks eviction of...

4 hours ago | Justice

A veteran of the liberation struggle is asking the High Court in Windhoek to evict eight households who set up homesteads on land in the...

Mouton to plead in 2018

4 hours ago | Justice

A young man accused of killing a police officer and two civilians while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in July 2015, is scheduled...

NYS cooks unhappy over zero...

4 hours ago | Labour

As part of saving costs, the National Youth Service (NYS) in December last year discontinued overtime for kitchen staff at the Rietfontein campus. However, this...

Load More