Advocating for the active Engagement of the Youth in the Agricultural Value Chain

19 - 23 September 2011
Ezulwini, Swaziland

Ineffective policies stunt agricultural growth

7 October 2011
Lindi van Rooyen
Farmers Weekly
Article content: 

Africa is well positioned to help relieve global food shortages considering the 100 million hectares of land under cultivation. However, ineffective agricultural policies hamper the sector's growth, according to numerous speakers at the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN's) food security policy dialogue in Swaziland.

Cecilia Khupe, senior regional agriculture programme manager for the United States Agency for International Development, said that excessive policies hamper trade.

"Many farmers can't sell their produce to neighbouring countries because of trade barriers. Botswana can export to Europe, but trade policies prevent it from exporting to South Africa. We are not doing our farmers justice with these policies," explained Khupe.

Dr Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO of FANRPAN, said: "Our current policies are not adequate to ensure food security. These policies are not formulated using relevant research, but rather research that has been done in other countries with different circumstances."

Acting prime minister of Swaziland, Macford Sibandze, said that agriculture in Africa is not performing as it should, given its wealth of arable land. "Africa's agricultural output is only 10% of the total global output, yet Africa has 60% of the world's remaining uncultivated land."

Dr Sibanda lamented that only 10 African countries had honoured previous commitments to spend 10% of their budgets on agriculture.

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