Africa / Agriculture

We need to change the image of agriculture in Africa–Namanga Ngongi

Namanga Ngongi - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008

Namanga Ngongi, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, in Davos, Switzerland, 2008 (photo credit: Andy Mettler for World Economic Forum).

With the right support and help, farming can transform lives of millions of people in Africa, argues Namanga Ngongi, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, in the Guardian‘s Poverty Matters blog this month.

‘. . . Smallholder agriculture and the back breaking work of millions of African farmers have been taken for granted–viewed as an accepted way of life that they embrace. Support comes mostly in the form of charity, not investment.

‘In Africa, you are born a farmer; you don’t become one. At least, that’s been the perception. But young people who will be the future policymakers and business leaders of tomorrow need to view agriculture as more than something that is done solely out of necessity and associated with the stigma of poverty and lack of education. We must make them see that Africa’s farming sector is ripe with business opportunities. . . .

‘African agriculture is starting to develop as a dynamic, profitable sector. African governments and international donors have increased their commitments to agriculture. African companies are investing in the production of quality seeds and fertilisers, development of food processing businesses, provision of market information systems and financial products to serve farmers and agricultural enterprises.

‘And most importantly, smallholder farmers are investing in their own farms and organising around their common interests. . . .

‘With the right support, African entrepreneurs are helping to change the face of the agriculture–helping farmers and themselves succeed. . . .’

Read the whole article at the Guardian‘s Poverty Matters blog: We need to change the image of agriculture in Africa, by Namanga Ngongi, 2 November 2010.

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