African economies gain from agriculture investment

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African countries that took early action in the past decade to invest in agriculture have reaped the rewards, enjoying higher economic growth and a bigger drop in malnutrition, a major farming development organisation said yesterday.

The report by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), according to Reuters, showed that after decades of stagnation, much of Africa has enjoyed sustained agricultural productivity growth since 2005. That has helped push down poverty rates in places like Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, it added.

Countries that adopted the policies promoted by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) not long after it was created by African Union governments in 2003 saw productivity on existing farmlands rise by 5.9 to 6.7 per cent per year, the report said. That helped spur a 4.3 per cent average annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP).

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