Create Stability for Farmers, Increase Food Production with Change in Land Policy
The agricultural sector, though a major employer in most African countries, is often characterized as risky and low-productivity business largely run by small-holder farmers. Despite the fact that a number of African countries have registered fast growth in agricultural value added, with an average growth rate of 4.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa compared to a world average of 2.8 percent in 2014, the majority of sub-Saharan Africa’s poor householdsare found in rural spaces where credit, insurance, and land market failures are severe, and population pressure on scarce natural resources is persistently high. Clearly, jump-starting Africa’s agricultural sector will lift millions out of poverty.
Recently, leading researchers, African policymakers and private sector partners gathered for Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) conference in Addis Ababa to identify major challenges and discuss ways forward to do just that. During the high-level policy roundtable involving agricultural policymakers, researchers, and investors, the panelists largely agreed that market failures, limited technology adoption, and high risk of and vulnerability to climate change are some of the major constraints of productivity of small-holder agriculture in Africa.