Excessive corruption, poor infrastructure and scarce government resources were deterring investment in agriculture and contributing to high levels of malnourishment around the world, said an FAO report released Thursday.
The report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO said the world’s 1-B farmers are the largest investors in the agriculture of developing countries and that their investment decisions are central to any strategy aimed at improving agricultural investment.
“A new investment strategy is needed that puts agricultural producers at its center,” FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva was quoted as saying in the report released in Rome, the seat of the FAO headquarters.
“The challenge is to focus the investments in areas where they can make a difference. This is important to guarantee that investments will result in high economic and social returns and environmental sustainability,” he added.
The report: The State of Food and Agriculture 2012: Investing in agriculture for a better future — is the FAO’s annual flagship publication.
New data compiled for the report show that farmers in low- and middle-income countries invest more than US$170-B a year in their farms, about US$150 per farmer.
This is 3 times as much as all other sources of investment combined, 4 times more than contributions by the public sector, and over 50 times more than official development assistance to these countries.