February 10, 2014

Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation

In 2003, African leaders pledged to increase support for agriculture.  Known as Maputo Declaration, African leaders agreed to allocate at least 10 percent of budgetary resources to agriculture and to achieve 6 percent growth in agriculture sector to reduce poverty and food insecurity.  

Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation”, published by the ONE Campaign, reviews the accomplishments and the shortcomings since 2003 and provides ten recommendations to accelerate broad-based agricultural growth in Africa. The report recommends African leaders to:

  1. Make time-bound commitments to meet the Maputo pledge of spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets.
  2. Eliminate the gender gap in agriculture.
  3. Strengthen land governance and security of tenure rights.
  4. Reduce barriers to intra-regional trade.
  5. Increase R&D investment to at least 1% of agricultural GDP and bolster extension services.
  6. Integrate sustainability and climate resilience into national agriculture plans.
  7. Priorities the reduction of post-harvest loss in national agriculture plans.
  8. Design nutrition goals into agriculture sector strategies.
  9. Foster an enabling environment for smallholder integration and responsible private sector investment.
  10. Accelerate implementation of agriculture plans and ensure pro-poor results for smallholder farmers

The report can be downloaded here (PDF). 


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


US Food Aid Reform is Long Overdue

There are rumors that U.S. food aid programs could see major changes in the next budget, including converting some of the Food for Peace program into straight cash grants instead of in-kind food assistance.

Photo of the Week

A One Acre Fund farmer in Nyamasheke District, Rwanda, applies microbuses of fertilizer to her fields as she plants climbing beans.

Agriculture Reflection

When young people are faced with the big question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” agriculture is usually not an expected response.

Photo of the Week

Farmers load up bags of fertilizer on bicycles at input delivery in Matulo village, Kenya.

Roger Thurow - Outrage and Inspire - Forward Ever

The young man from the farm was looking smart in an olive green suit, salmon tie and cufflinks.  His black shoes were a bit scuffed, but his English was polished.  “We are moving forward,” he said.  “Forward ever, backward never.”

Photo of the Week

One Acre Fund farmers in Chwele District, Kenya attend a training on how to plant millet. They are comparing the length of their fingers as they are told to plant their millet seeds as deep as the second knuckle on their index finger.