Nigeria, Benin and Malawi have set out how their governments will work with business and donors to increase investment in agriculture. This will raise farm incomes, create 3.5 million jobs as well as tackling hunger and undernutrition.
The 3 countries will introduce policies supporting farmers and agribusinesses, improving infrastructure and developing commodity exchanges. In response, over 70 companies, including 53 from Africa, will make new investment commitments worth over $3.8 billion to the three countries. These range from increased sourcing from smallholder farmers, improving farmers’ access to seeds and fertilisers and investment in processing, storage, and transport.
Speaking at the Promoting African Agriculture: New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Security event, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
We have made huge progress today getting agreement to help end undernutrition in our lifetimes, backed by governments, business, science and NGOs. To achieve this, we must support economic growth by working with farmers, local businesses, international companies and the African governments building market reform into their programmes.
Strong agricultural growth in Africa will raise more people out of poverty than growth in other sectors because so many people, including many women, depend on it for their livelihood. I am particularly pleased the UK is working with G8 members to strengthen the focus on women so they can benefit as farmers and entrepreneurs.
G8 members and other donors have committed to supporting these government investment plans. The first New Alliance Progress Report was also launched at the event, tracking the positive progress to date in the first six countries that joined in 2012.
The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition
The New Alliance, launched under US G8 leadership in 2012, is a joint initiative between African leaders, the private sector and G8 and other donors.
Together, New Alliance countries develop Cooperation Frameworks listing policy reforms that will help accelerate agricultural growth, private sector investment in agriculture and implement donor funding commitments for the sector.
Six countries have already signed up to the New Alliance: Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire.
Participants at the meeting on Saturday include high-level representatives of new and existing New Alliance partner countries, the African Union Commission, G8 and other Development Ministers, CEOs from African and global private sector companies committed to investing in line with the New Alliance, and civil society representatives.
The UK is working closely with the two other co-chairs of a Leadership Council for the New Alliance: the Africa Union Commission and the World Economic Forum. As one of the co-chairs of the Leadership Council in 2013, the UK has worked closely with the African Union Commission, African governments and other G8 members and the Grow Africa Parternship to ensure the initiative is fully backed by African leaders and supports national agriculture plans.
Building on the commitment made by the G8 at the launch of the New Alliance for food and nutrition security in 2012, G8 members in 2013 will support research into responsible agricultural investment in New Alliance partner countries.