By Denis Jjuuko
Ouagadougou: Africa is making progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 1 which calls for reducing hunger, according to the Forum for Agricultural Research (FARA) executive secretary Monty Jones. He was addressing the media at a press conference ahead of the CAADP Day in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
“Forty to fifty years ago, most countries were exporting to each other in Africa and outside the continent. Then the attention was shifted to other areas and we saw a drop in agricultural production. However, since 2000, we have seen significant development in agriculture averaging around 5%,” he said. “This means that most countries are at the threshold of reaching the 6% target set by CAADP.”
“With these increases in agricultural development,” Mr. Jones said, “Africa will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 1.” Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are targets set up by the United Nations that countries need to achieve to attain a certain level of development. MDG 1 seeks to end hunger and poverty by the year 2015.
Mr. Jones said that Africa has the resources to take it to the next level of agricultural development. “We have 60% of arable land. How can we invest into this as opposed to asking for aid?” he asked. He added that as researchers in the agricultural field, they need the support of other partners such as the private sector to ensure that farmers get the infrastructure needed to improve their fields.
He also appealed to organizations working in agriculture to share information, especially on the technologies developed in Adrica through the CAADP processes.