New Drive for European Investment in African Agriculture

Baku, October 28 (AZERTAC). A British report says Europe needs to do more to invest in African agriculture. It says a gap exists between bold rhetoric that pledges billions to aid African agriculture and a reality in which money has not materialized.

The panel of experts from Africa and Europe said European donors need to pay more attention to immediate threats of food insecurity in Africa and also to support African-led initiatives to improve agricultural productivity on the continent.

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa President Namanga Ngongi was on the panel of experts and says agriculture in Africa is improving. "I have seen for myself. You go into the field seeing farms where people were producing one ton per hectare before, they are now producing three, four, five tons per hectare - in some cases 6-metric tons per hectare. So now they have these possible surpluses that need to be market," Ngongi said.

He says regional bodies in Africa are increasingly making agriculture a major focus, introducing new crop breeding programs and providing start up capital for new enterprises.

And he says governments are spending more of their national budget on agricultural development.

Those efforts, he says, are paying off. For example, Nigeria has surpassed Brazil as the world`s largest producer of cassava, which is a major source of calories in Africa.

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