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Investing in Agriculture for a Better Future

December 10, 2012

FAO_Page_001Investing in agriculture is one of the most effective ways of promoting agricultural productivity, reducing poverty and enhancing environmental sustainability, according to FAO’s flagship annual report, which released last week in Rome.

The report, titled “State of Food and Agriculture 2012: Investing in agriculture for a better future”, sends a clear message that it is essential to increase both private and public investments in agriculture for achieving the MDG goals and sustainable economic development. As the largest investor in agriculture in low- and middle–income countries, farmers must be put at the center of countries’ investment strategy. A conducive investment climate and good governance could help stimulate more large-scale private investments in agriculture, while government interventions such as social transfers and safety net schemes can help smallholders overcome challenges to invest more.

Data compiled in this report also shows that investing in public goods for agriculture yields high returns in terms of both agricultural productivity and poverty reduction, which make countries better off. For African countries, the CAADP target of allocating at least 10 percent of public investment in agriculture can provide a useful benchmark against which to evaluate a country’s commitment to agriculture, according to the report.

The report recognized ReSAKSS’s contribution to provide analytical tools to support policy-making and to monitor and evaluate progress towards the CAADP goals. Read the full report.

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