Tapping Potentials of Innovation for Food Security and Sustainable Agricultural Growth: An Africa-Wide Perspective
44 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 2015
While in the past, increased use of inputs and expansion of agricultural land accounted for a good part of agricultural growth in Africa, improvements in productivity will need to be a major driver of growth in the future. Thus, agricultural innovations are needed to sustainably increase productivity, i.e. output per unit of all inputs, while maintaining environmental quality and resources. Such innovations require enhanced investments in research and development. This study identifies potentials in agriculture and food systems in Africa for enhanced food security.
For maximum impact, the Special Initiative “One World – No Hunger” of BMZ needs to take note of the whole African landscape of actions in agriculture and food security. Therefor this study provides a detailed review of related ongoing and recent initiatives, in order to help identify in what ways investments under the “One World – No Hunger” Special Initiative from a broad strategic perspective might best connect and serve in coherent and complementary ways to increase food and nutrition security and sustainable agricultural productivity growth.
Innovations in the agricultural sector are key to ensure food security and achieve the right to food. Investments in the agricultural sector are crucial not only to increase food production but also because the returns on investments in terms of poverty reduction effects are often highest in in this sector. Furthermore, food insecurity and violent conflicts are inextricably interlinked with food insecurity being both a driver and a consequence of violent conflicts and related refugee flows.
African countries have recently made major commitments to invest in agriculture. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), that was initiated in 2003 and has been reinforced by the Malabo Declaration in 2014, is now the reference point and measure of commitment in Africa. With CAADP, African countries committed to spend 10% of their total public expenditures on agriculture to achieve an annual agricultural growth rate of 6%. Other African and international initiatives, including new partnerships between African governments, donors and the private sector like the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition or Feed the Future, have since been launched to support the CAADP process.
Investment opportunities differ across Africa. In view of the above mentioned goals, it is suggested here that development investments by Germany target countries which reveal potentials indicated by:
1. having a track record of political commitment to foster sustainable agricultural growth, as indicated by performance under CAADP, and
2. showing actual progress in sustainable agricultural productivity driven by related innovations, as indicated by comprehensive productivity measurement and innovation actions on the ground, and
3. prioritizing actions for hunger and malnutrition reduction and showing progress (for instance measured by the Global Hunger Index), but where agricultural and rural development and nutrition interventions are likely to make a significant difference, as indicated by public policy and room for civil society actions.
The records and potentials of 42 African countries are identified accordingly, using comprehensive assessments of agronomic, economic and governance criteria that can be transparently tracked.
Keywords: Agriculture, Innovations, Food and Nutrition Security, Agricultural Policy, Sustainable Growth
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