Five years ago today, amidst a global economic recession and world food price crisis, world leaders gathered at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, and made one of the largest financial commitments to fight hunger and poverty alleviation to date – $20 billion in aid to agriculture.
At the time, price spikes had plunged millions of people into poverty and prompted riots in cities across the world. Donor support for agriculture was at its lowest point in 20 years.
This lack of investment was alarming for many reasons. According to a 2008 report by the World Bank, growth in a country’s agricultural sector is twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in any other sector. Coupled with the fact that the majority of the world’s poor and hungry are farmers, donors used this crisis moment to reverse course and begin again to invest in agriculture – both to prevent future global food crises and to fight hunger and poverty. We know that broadly if African farmers’ productivity continues to stagnate, then by 2030, Africa will only be able to meet 25 percent of its own demand for food....To read the full column, visit Devex.