African countries agree to invest further in agriculture

A meeting of the African Caucus of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG), which was held in Gaborone recently, has agreed on a holistic approach to transform agriculture and agri-business on the continent.

The intention is for governments in Africa to develop the agriculture sector for the purposes of job creation and fighting poverty.

The meeting identified commercial agriculture and agribusiness as key potential sectors to transform African economies which are highly dependent on oil and mineral revenues.

The two-day meeting, which ended on August 4, released a declaration document stating that the transformation of the agriculture sector will entail policies, technologies, private sector participation, value chains, sustainable job creation for youth and women, as well as agriculture infrastructure financing and financial inclusion.

The document states that public spending in agriculture by African governments was still below the level required to transform the sector and increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product. The document further said the current approach to move from subsistence to commercial agriculture was inadequate.

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