"Do Agric, it Pays"

by Developed Africa 26. June 2014 09:00

One Africa launched the campaign "Do Agric, it Pays" in January to encourage people into agriculture, as well as to encourage government spending on the sector.

The group are currently focused on:

lobbying African heads of state and making a case for prioritisation of agriculture and transparency in budgets for small holder farmers across Africa."

This comes as a lot of criticism has started to hit governments across Africa for the amount they spend on importing food products in comparison to the amount they spend supporting small and local farmers to produce such goods.

Appealing to Ghanaian President Mahama, One Africa wanted him to persuade African leaders at the AU meeting in Equatorial Guinea of their case for prioritising funding for agriculture and small farmers. The President's response was to blame the policies brought in in the 1970s, pushed by the World Bank:

They [the World Bank and IMF] came with policies that said that we should allow the farmers to compete. We were made to remove subsidies... while they continued subsidising farmers in the western countries, the African farmer was left to himself."

However, as The Chronicle also argued, all blame cannot be placed on the Bretton Woods organisations, but responsibility was also on the shoulders of African leaders at the time. The focus now should be upon making things right and ensuring that agriculture is given the attention and funding that it deserves.

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