News / Africa

African Agriculture Gets a Boost

Following the G-8 conference, business leaders and international agencies renew their call for private investment in Africa

A Nigerien farmer takes home his harvest of sorghum. A Nigerien farmer takes home his harvest of sorghum.
x
A Nigerien farmer takes home his harvest of sorghum.
A Nigerien farmer takes home his harvest of sorghum.
Kelly J. Kelly
African Agriculture Gets a Boost
African Agriculture Gets a Boosti
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X


Mike Mack is the C-E-O of an international company called Syngenta. The company makes and sells products as seeds and herbicides. He says the world is hungry—and it’s only going to get hungrier.

“The demand for grain, particularly in emerging markets, is going to continue to grow," Mack says on a video on his company's website. "The demand on consumers for food security, healthy, abundant supply of high quality food is going to continue to be a factor, and of course this all within the context of climate change, competing demands for water, energy security…”

From a business perspective, the world’s increasing demand for food is good news — which is one of the reasons private multinationals like Syngenta are investing in agriculture in Africa. On May 22, Mack published an article in the US business paper "The Wall Street Journal" calling for even more international investors to invest in African agriculture technology and training.

These dollars are especially important for small farmers, the president of the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development, Kanayo Mwanze, told reporters.

“So one point is for the initiative to ensure that the international private sector can contribute to transforming the small holder producer from a subsistence farmer to a commercial farmer.”

Yet Nwanze is quick to point out that international companies like Syngenta are not the only piece of the puzzle. He says African countries need to figure out how to develop local private sector investors, too. Local governments also have a role to play: they have to build local infrastructure such as roads, clinics, and schools so countries can support agribusiness. All that will require a mindset change, he says.

“The problem we have in many of our countries in Africa is that we do not use a long-term perspective to investment. We cannot build one thousand kilometers of road in one year. We can build one kilometer of road in every village in one year. But you have to look at a 25 to 50 year perspective.”

Nwanze says African leaders need to make decisions that do more than promote farmers’ short term interests. He says today’s investments and policies must look toward cultivating future generations, too.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid