Harare – Sub-Saharan Africa has a quarter of the world’s arable land but only produces 10 percent of its agricultural output and as a consequence imports one-third of the calories consumed by its citizens .
This came out of a two-day high-level dialogue billed “Feeding Africa” that was hosted by the Africa Development Bank and the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organisation last week.
Experts said Africa’s poor production systems made it vulnerable and dependent on external food supply chains.
As such, there is a growing lobby for the continent to live up to commitments made in the 2003 African Union Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security. Among other things, African leaders pledged to set aside 10 percent of their national budget allocations to agriculture and related spending lines within five years.
At the Feeding Africa dialogue, a coalition of multilateral development banks and development partners pledged over US$17 billion to finance agriculture and improve food security across the continent.
In addition, 17 African Heads of State signed on to the commitment to boost agricultural production by doubling current productivity levels through the scaling up of agro-technologies, investing in access to markets, and promoting agricultural research and development.