Enhancing U.S. Efforts to Develop Sustainable Agri-Food Systems in Africa

  • 15th February 2017
  • by secretary

Dr. Thomas Jayne, Hon. Chance Kabaghe, and Dr. Isaac Minde

Farm Journal Foundation, 16 pages

1 February 2017. This paper is the first in a series of policy papers commissioned by the Farm Journal Foundation. While commissioned by the Farm Journal Foundation, these policy documents reflect the views of the authors, and are intended to stimulate interest and debate on these issues as Congress begins to consider the next Farm Bill and other relevant legislation.

Two additional papers on Agricultural Trade technical Assistance and Agricultural Research will be released later in February.

Taken together, they kick off a much needed dialogue on how US agriculture can maintain its comparative strength, share its extraordinary knowledge, tools, and know-how, and drive economic growth and stability, while ensuring US competitiveness in tomorrow’s agricultural export markets.

Why should US citizens care? Investing in Africa’s economic growth is in the United States’ national interest. US exports of agricultural products to sub-Saharan Africa totaled $2.6 billion in 2013 and will grow rapidly if Africa continues to develop. (…) US farmers and agribusiness can help themselves by helping Africa to meet its rapidly growing food needs, by investing in the region’s agri-food systems, and by supporting a sustainable and efficient global food system. (page 4)

The time has arrived for the US to find effective ways to support capacity building. This should include African universities, agricultural training colleges, vocational schools, crop research organisations, extension systems and policy analysis institutes. International private companies, universities and NGOs have important but increasingly redefined roles that put African institutions in the lead.