- Net investments of $83 billion a year, a 50 percent increase, must be made in agriculture in developing countries if there is to be enough food to feed over 9 billion people in 2050, according to a United Nations paper published today.
More than a third of this - $29 billion - would be needed for the two countries with the largest populations, India and China. Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa would require about $11 billion, Latin America and the Caribbean $20 billion, the Near East and North Africa $10 billion, South Asia $20 billion and East Asia $24 billion, the paper said.
Required areas of investments include crops and livestock production, downstream support services such as cold chains, storage facilities, market facilities and first-stage processing, according to the paper prepared to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) discussion paper for a High Level Experts’ Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050 to be held in Rome on 12 and 13 October.
Projected needs include some $20 billion for crop production and $13 billion for livestock, with mechanisation accounting for the single biggest investment area, followed by expansion and improvement of irrigation. A further $50 billion would be needed for downstream services to help achieve a global 70 percent expansion in agricultural production by 2050.
The paper says, most of the investment will come from private investors, including farmers purchasing implements and machinery and businesses investing in processing facilities.
Public funds will be needed to achieve a better functioning agricultural system and food security, including research and development; large-scale infrastructure such as roads, ports and power; and education, particularly of women, sanitation, clean water supply and healthcare.
But in 2000, total global public spending totalled only some $23 billion, and it has been highly uneven, the publication says. Official Development Assistance (ODA) to agriculture decreased by some 58 percent in real terms between 1980 and 2005, dropping from a 17 percent share of aid to 3.8 percent over the period. Presently it stands at around 5 percent, it added.
Foreign direct investment in agriculture in developing countries could make a significant contribution to bridging the investment gap, the paper says.
But political and economic concerns have been raised about so-called “land grab” investments in poor, food-insecure countries, it notes. Such deals should be designed in such a way as to maximize benefits to host populations, effectively increasing their food security and reducing poverty.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.