Investing in Agriculture Most Effective Way to Eradicate Poverty in Africa – UN

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

With the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) just three years away, a senior United Nations official today emphasized that spending on agriculture is the most effective type of investment for halting poverty in Africa.

“Increasing investment in agriculture is essential to achieving the MDGs,” saidthe President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze. “Investments in agriculture are more effective in lifting people out of poverty than investments in any other sector – they not only drive economic growth and set the stage for long-term sustainable development, they pay high dividends in terms of quality of life and dignity for poor rural people.”

Mr. Nwanze’s comments came on the eve of his departure to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he will join African ministers at high-level meetings to plan concrete actions to push growth in the continent, by ensuring that agriculture is at the top of national agendas.

“The experience of IFAD has shown that agriculture is a business, and our business is to make sure smallholder agriculture is profitable so that rural communities can thrive,” Mr. Nwanze said in a news release, adding that “to accelerate progress in meeting the MDGs, agriculture must be viewed as the main engine of economic growth.”

IFAD specializes in helping eradicate rural poverty in developing countries. The eight MDGs – which range from halving extreme poverty to providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all of the world’s leading development institutions.

Source: UN News Centre (link opens in a new window)

poverty alleviation