ReSAKSS-Africa Wide Annual Trends and Outlook Report 2011 Released
Agricultural productivity in Africa has been increasing since the mid-1980s, but this represents catching up with the levels achieved in the early 1960s.
Africa saw rapid agricultural productivity growth over the past three decades. Yet due to the economic slump in the preceding decades, Africa’s recent growth recovery has barely reached levels of the 1960s. How to raise and maintain high agricultural productivity in Africa remains a fundamental challenge for African policymakers and African development experts.
In collaboration with Harvest Choice, ReSAKSS’ newly released 2011 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) Trends and Spatial Patterns in Agricultural Productivity in Africa, 1961–2010 is a timely analysis that helps answer the question at the Africa-wide level. The authors Samuel Benin, Alejandro Nin Pratt, Stanley Wood, and Zhe Guo present a broad picture of Africa’s agricultural productivity by analyzing the inter-temporal trends and spatial patterns in partial and total factor productivity. Based on rigorous research, it is designed for African policymakers, NGOs, development implementers, and other non-technical audiences to help identify options for accelerating a broad-based agricultural productivity across different parts of the continent.
New Issue, New Approach
Starting with this fourth issue of the ATOR, ReSAKSS adopts a new approach of featuring a key topic relevant to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) implementation agenda. Agricultural productivity is featured in the 2011 issue. The 2012 issue will feature agricultural expenditure and investment. Future topics will include agriculture and vulnerability and social protection strategies, MDG achievements, and growth and poverty reduction strategies.
Same as what has been done in the previous ATORs, ReSAKSS keeps tracing trends and progress on the CAADP M&E core indicators (including key CAADP spending and growth targets, the first millennium development goal and the implementation agenda itself) in this 2011 report. In the new format, the data are presented in the form of a statistical abstract in annexes.
Major Findings and Recommendations
The report provides some major findings and recommendations:
- Agricultural productivity in Africa has been increasing since the mid-1980s, but this represents catching up with the levels achieved in the early 1960s.
- Agricultural investments and R&D infrastructure and capacities in Africa have eroded, as a result of poor to moderate performance in the largest agricultural economies in the continent.
- Large incremental agriculture expenditures and investments are required to raise and maintain a high level of agricultural productivity and growth in Africa.
- Different types of agricultural investments and policies are not growth neutral; the critical investments will be those that deliver location-specific technologies and those that account for diversity of farmers.
- Because many countries are small and have limited capacities, regional agricultural strategies, with complementary policies and extension systems to maximize the spillovers of technologies, will be helpful.
- The potential impact of climate change should be taken into account in the design and implementation of policies and strategies for raising and maintaining high agricultural productivity.