Table of contents




a) Land and Water: two corner stones
b) Irrigation
c) Water control and land improvement


a) Private investment
b) Government expenditure
c) Official Development Assistance
d) Consequences
e) Paradox


a) Background  
b) Proposed approach
c) Interim results






1. "The New Partnership for Africa's Development"(NEPAD) launched in October 2001, based on "A New African Initiative" as adopted by the Organisation for African Unit (OAU) in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2001, promotes economic recovery and development in Africa over the next fifteen years. Growth and development are to be achieved by according attention to five priority sectors including agriculture. While the intention is to promote balanced, sustainable development through complementary actions in these related sectors, agriculture will clearly be the lead productive sector underpinning overall growth. In order to raise agricultural growth to required levels, increased investment is foreseen in land and water improvement among other ways of boosting production and productivity. The partnership establishes a process to assess more detailed needs for the five priority sectors starting at national level to then progress to regional and continental levels.

2. The purpose of this document is to support the New Partnership for Africa's Development regarding agriculture particularly in the area of land and water improvement and production intensification. The apparent contradiction between the imperative of increasing investment in land and water improvement for development, as envisaged in the NEPAD, and declining or stagnating investment in these areas, is examined. In response, a procedure is outlined for use by governments to develop scenarios for country-specific investment in land and water improvement and production intensification. By placing agriculture in the context of the rural economy, the procedure also takes into consideration investment needs in processing, marketing and elements of rural infrastructure. In this way it provides a country-driven instrument to quantify the costs and benefits of investment in the sector, and one that helps understanding how such investment influences development and sustainable growth, thereby strengthening the case, at national level, for increased financial allocations to agriculture.

3. More precise and realistic agricultural investment requirements will be obtained through use of the procedure at country level based on up-to-date information. A distinct advantage of this would be ownership of the process and results by African countries thereby rendering outcomes more credible to potential development partners and aid donors.


4. Africa has outlined a course for its economic recovery and development in `The New Partnership for Africa's Development'1 (NEPAD). The long-term objective is "To eradicate poverty in Africa and to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development and thus halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process; and to promote the role of women in all activities".

5. The NEPAD emphasises the determination of Africans to shape their own future through deliberate development choices, empowerment and self-reliance. Development partners are called upon to complement these efforts by creating fair and just conditions conducive to accelerating Africa's effective participation in the global economy and body politic.

6. Goals to be achieved in pursuing the overall objective are an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of above 7% per annum for the next 15 years, and to ensure that the continent achieves agreed international development goals (IDGs)2. Attaining the World Food Summit goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015 is implied.

7. Growth and development are to be achieved by according priority attention to five sectors:

8. Emphasis is placed on agriculture as the lead productive sector that provides the main source of livelihoods and income for Africa's rural population. Agricultural productivity and growth are to be boosted to meet country needs and for exports through a variety of measures including improved land and water use, better land tenure security, enhanced rural financial systems, more efficient marketing, reduced urban bias of public spending, improved preservation and storage, better research and extension, enhanced role of women and countering donor fatigue in agriculture. Agriculture's ability to contribute to development is to be enhanced through more diversified production and value adding agro-processing.

9. The NEPAD establishes a process to develop more concrete proposals. This includes sector needs assessments progressing from national to regional and continental levels. Assistance is expected from developed countries and multilateral institutions to accelerate implementation of the programme.


10. Agricultural growth is more important for Africa than for any other continent. About 70% of people in Africa and roughly 80% of the continent's poor live in rural areas. These people depend on agriculture and non-farm rural enterprises for their livelihoods, and increasingly are unable to meet their basic food needs as population pressure on land grows, and land and water resources become scarce or degrade and agricultural productivity stagnates. In Africa today agriculture is the most important rural enterprise, contributing an average of 30 percent of total gross domestic product in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa), and over 40 percent in one third of all countries. Agribusiness's, which themselves depend on agricultural growth, are responsible for an additional 20 percent of gross domestic product and about 25 percent of total rural incomes. Agriculture and the rural economy account for some 67 percent of employment and 40 percent of exports. Raising the productivity of agricultural and non-farm enterprises will profoundly affect the rate of economic growth for the majority of African countries over the next fifteen years. An increase in agricultural and rural growth can help address environmental degradation by facilitating the technological transformation needed to raise agricultural yields in a sustainable manner thereby reducing pressure on fragile ecosystems (World Bank, 2001).

11. Increases in agricultural productivity are central to growth, income distribution, and improved food security and poverty alleviation in rural economies. Increased farm production improves farmers' incomes, generates on-farm employment and lowers food prices both of which reduce poverty as the poor typically spend 60-70 per cent of their income on food. Recent studies suggest that an even more significant effect on rural poverty derives from increased farm incomes that stimulate demand for the goods and services offered by the small-scale enterprise sector. Where labour is abundant, agricultural growth generates significant income and employment multipliers within the local non-farm economy. Where such large multipliers exist technological change in agriculture has the potential to generate significant new non-farm income earnings for the poor (Mellor, 2000; IFAD, 2001).

a) Land and water: two corner stones

12. Land and water are the primary natural resources that enable agriculture, food production and rural development in most countries. They are also equally important factors of production whose association with appropriate technologies and related factors such as labour, investment and institutions enhances their productivity. This fortunate association has enabled global agricultural production to outpace growing demand despite declining availability of per caput land and water resources. For this trend to continue, increased output will have to come mainly from intensified production as general land expansion can make only a limited contribution. The availability of land and water is thus central to development, food security, and poverty reduction.

13. FAO estimates that between 1995/7 and 2030 about 75 percent of the projected growth in crop production in sub-Saharan Africa will come from intensification in the form of yield increases (62 percent) and higher cropping intensities (13 percent), with the remaining 25 percent coming from arable land expansion. The share due to intensification will exceed 90 percent in land-scarce countries of Near East/North Africa. Intensified production occurs mostly on land already under cultivation (FAO, 2000a).

14. The biggest problem with water is not its quantity, but rather its uneven distribution and management in time and space. The combination of uneven distribution and expanding population is putting increasing pressure on available water resources in a number of countries, mainly in Africa and the Middle East. Increasing water scarcity will result largely from rapidly growing demands for agricultural, industrial and household purposes. At the same time, the potential for expanding supplies in many countries and localities is diminishing. Deteriorating water quality and environmental conditions, degradation of irrigated land, insufficient river flow, upstream land degradation and seasonal flooding will aggravate water shortage problems. Unless there is prompt action, a number of countries in Africa risk severe water shortages that could depress agricultural production and limit industrial and household use (IFAD, 2001).

15. The threat to agricultural production is particularly severe because this sector is the major user of water in most African countries, often accounting for 90 percent or more of total water use. As the biggest user of water, often at highly subsidised rates, attention is focussed on irrigation to improve water use efficiency levels that are generally low.

b) Irrigation

16. In 1995/7, the total irrigated area in developing countries amounted to about 197 million ha (three-quarters of the world's irrigated area). Seventy-four percent of this irrigated land is in Asia, 14 percent in the Near East/North Africa, 9 percent in Latin America and 3 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1961/63 and 1995/7, the irrigated area in developing countries increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent to 197 million ha. Asia registered the largest increase: 70 million ha (mainly in India, Pakistan and China); while in sub-Saharan Africa the increase was 2 million ha. The prediction is for the area of irrigated land to increase by 0.6 percent per year to 242 million ha in 2030. Declining and insufficient investment in agriculture, the broader water sector and irrigation reflect this decrease in irrigation expansion.

17. Irrigation is fundamental to agricultural intensification. Irrigated agriculture practised on 20 percent of all arable land accounts for 40 percent of all crop production and almost 60 percent of cereal production in developing countries. In the coming decades an estimated 80 percent of the growth in crop production will come from intensification largely enabled by irrigation. Seventy percent of the increase in cereal production expected by 2030 will be attributable to irrigation. As rainfed agriculture lacks the potential to replace irrigated agriculture in any significant way, there is no major alternative to irrigation in the challenge to meet future growing food and other agricultural needs in developing countries.

18. By boosting agricultural productivity, irrigation contributes significantly to rural incomes, rural employment, food security, poverty alleviation and overall growth and development. It also helps keep food affordable to the poor. Without more irrigation, many countries will be unable to achieve food security and reduce poverty. Irrigation targeting smallholder farmers has good distributional effects, and most of its beneficial impact is in rural areas where three-quarters of the world's poor live.

19. Future investments in irrigation will be mainly for rehabilitation, upgrading and expansion. Such incremental investment will benefit from the large amount of sunk costs in existing schemes thereby enabling higher rates of return. A clear indication that irrigation yields adequate returns is the amount of private investment it attracts worldwide. There are now technical, economic, social and environmental solutions to most of the problems caused by irrigation. Thus, if projects adhere to sound investment design and implementation guidelines, irrigation can be an environmental asset.

20. As irrigation is a major water user, improvements in the current low level of water use efficiency will release large volumes for expansion, and use by other sectors. Technological, operational and managerial techniques are improving efficiency levels. The application of the principles of irrigator participation, financial autonomy, and privatization will enhance the viability of future investments in new or existing schemes. Irrigation reduces the risk of crop losses from uncertain rainfall, enables production in areas or at times without rainfall, and provides water to enable farmers to increase output per hectare. There are strong synergies between irrigation and other principal sources of agricultural growth such as fertilizer, improved plant varieties, better husbandry, up graded infrastructure and better integration into markets. These encourage farmers to invest in land improvements and in other inputs. Through its influence on agricultural incomes, irrigation has a multiplier effect on non-farm incomes, contributing to food security and poverty alleviation.

c) Water control and land improvement in less-favourable rainfed areas

21. Agricultural development strategies emphasising irrigated agriculture have increased food production and stimulated economic growth. At the same time large areas of less-favourable rainfed lands suffer from neglect and lag behind in their economic development. These lands are characterised by low agricultural potential, often because of poor soils, steep slopes, and short growing seasons and lower and uncertain rainfall, but also because neglect has left them with limited infrastructure, weak institutions and poor access to markets. As population densities grow with no matching increases in production, food insecurity and poverty worsen and widespread degradation of soil and water resources tends to occur.

22. Such areas are home to some 60 percent of the poor often made up of politically marginal, indigenous people and displaced groups or immigrants (IFAD, 2001). There is no immediate or medium-term prospect for them to leave these areas by being absorbed in other sectors of the economy. These ecologically vulnerable zones warrant priority attention, as they constitute a significant part of the world's land resources. Forty percent of the Africa's land surface is dryland of which some 70 percent is degraded or subject to heavy degradation. In addition, hilly and mountainous zones that cover about 21 percent of the landmass have important watershed functions. Land degradation and reduced vegetative cover contribute to loss of biodiversity and diminished carbon exchange capacity.

23. On development and environmental grounds alone, there will need to be greater focus on less-favourable areas in setting priorities for policy and public investments. In some cases land expansion can contribute to increased agricultural production. However, in many less-favourable areas, social and environmental crises are already common, sometimes soliciting more investment in crisis relief than in development from governments and donors. There is evidence that strategic investments in the economic development of less-favourable areas can be more cost effective than relief even in a relatively short period of time (Owens and Hoddinott, 1998). Increased public investment in technology and infrastructure in less-favourable areas may yield higher marginal returns than comparable additional investments in irrigated agriculture (Fan and Hazzell, 1997). Management strategies such as integrated watershed development have demonstrated that investment in these areas can yield acceptable returns while achieving the twin goals of productivity growth and poverty alleviation.

24. Investing in a land or water development project is not just an investment in one item; it entails investing in a whole range of elements such as farming practices, plant varieties and nutrients, human resources, the broader infrastructure and conducive policies. This does not mean that there should be less public investment in irrigated and high-potential rainfed areas. It signifies that there should be a better investment balance between irrigated and less-favourable areas because reclamation and/or further development of the latter can benefit the large numbers of poor people living there. The amount of economically justifiable public investment in any locality should depend on the net social returns from productivity growth, poverty reduction and the containment of environmental degradation.

25. The investment needs of rural areas include improving health and education, infrastructure and agricultural production in different combinations and in an integrated manner. Farming systems in less-favourable areas typically include mixed farming and other practices that contribute to soil, nutrient and water conservation. Thus, while commodity improvement is relevant for less-favourable areas, there is growing consensus that major productivity gains will have to come from improved natural resource management practices and technologies tailored to the ecological, social and economic circumstances of rural communities. Land improvement techniques and integrated watershed development have shown promising results and should be key components of development strategies in less-favourable rainfed areas in many countries. Such investments can yield acceptable economic rates of return with direct benefits for participants. Where the evaluation takes their social and environmental impacts fully into account their returns may exceed those of other agricultural investments. Nevertheless, because the shortage of water limits the production potential of most less-favourable areas, their contribution to overall food grain production and food security in most countries will remain relatively modest. High-potential areas with irrigation will continue to be the breadbaskets for most developing countries.


26. It is widely understood that the concept of investment to augment the productive capacity of agriculture entails physical assets, science and technology dissemination, human capital enhancement and social capital accumulation. Capital is a major determinant of agricultural growth. Its absence or scarcity constrains growth. Creating a pro-investment climate to raise productivity levels and realise the needed structural changes becomes a principal policy challenge. The entire policy and institutional environment needs to be conducive to investment by private agents, in particular farmers.

a) Private investment

27. More than half of investment in agriculture and related activities in developing countries is made at farm level. Most is in the form of household labour for land clearing, levelling and terracing, irrigation and drainage, orchard establishment and building up livestock numbers. The share of private investment in irrigation is over half of the total investment, in particular when considering that an estimated 70 million ha of land out of a total of 264 million ha are under informal private irrigation that falls outside government control.

28. Private investment (internal and external) in developing countries expanded approximately five-fold between 1990 and 1997. Although data on internal private investment are scarce, any such increase is likely to have been considerably lower in most African countries because of their very low income and savings levels. Moreover, poor countries have difficulty attracting foreign direct investment because of their underdeveloped financial markets and because potential investors face high long-term risk. During the above period Africa received only about 1 percent of total world foreign direct investment and 4 percent of foreign direct investment to developing countries. Public investment in agriculture thus remains vital for most African countries.

b) Government expenditure

29. Useable data on public spending and investment in African agriculture are scarce. Evidence suggests that since the 1990s the level of public resources allocated to agriculture has been consistently low relative to the sector's size and contribution to the economy. In most African countries, the sector receives less than 10 percent of public spending (recurrent and investment) but accounts for 30-80 percent of gross domestic output. Countries with high levels of hunger are also those in which public expenditure on agriculture does not reflect the importance of the sector.

30. In general, public spending on agriculture has been inferior to direct and indirect transfers of income from the sector to government and the rest of the economy. Inadequate public resources have constrained the development of rural public goods (e.g. infrastructure, institutions, support services, human capital) and the ability of private sector to develop. In turn, such policies have stifled economic development by forfeiting the strong multiplier effects of high agricultural growth on the rest of the economy.

31. Where public investments in Africa have been high they have often been misallocated, or recurrent budgets to maintain investments have been inadequate.

c) Official Development Assistance

32. Because of its low income and savings levels Africa still relies heavily on external financial resources to support growth needed to promote development and overcome poverty. Most African countries have failed to attract meaningful amounts of private capital, in particular foreign direct investment, for reasons already provided. Official development finance will have to be significantly increased if the continent is to achieve the kind of growth that will eventually attract foreign investment and make aid less necessary (UNCTAD, 2000).

33. When measured in constant 1995 prices, official development assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors is 8 percent below 1990 levels. Throughout the 1990s, the flow of funds to primary agriculture declined while there was increasing attention on other areas, in particular environmental protection, rural development and infrastructure (FAO, 2000b). The proportion of sector aid reaching agriculture, forestry and fisheries fell to 20 percent in 1987-89 and then to 12.5 percent in 1996-98. The real nature of net aid disbursed to agriculture in the late 1990s was 35 percent of its level in the late 1980s (IFAD, 2001). The share of agricultural lending on the loan portfolio of the World Bank fell below 10 percent in 2000 compared to an average of 14 percent for the preceding decade. This was its lowest ever in both percentage terms and absolute amounts (World Bank, 2000). At the same time, spending on economic sector work to provide the analytical basis for rural development assistance in Africa decreased by 82 percent in the 1990s with no sign of slowing. This drastic decline is likely to translate into a further drop in lending and project quality during the next few years.

d) Consequences

34. Inadequate attention to agriculture and the rural economy has had severe consequences for Africa. Comparisons of aggregate performance across continents over the past forty years show Africa to be the only continent where agricultural production per worker has deteriorated. In 1997, 34 of 49 (70 percent) African countries were producing less food per person than a decade earlier. Agricultural productivity per worker for the continent has stagnated since 1990 at about $US375 (constant 1995 US dollars). This is 12 percent lower than in 1980. The gap between what is produced and what is needed is widening.

35. Low productivity results from weak investment in productivity-enhancing factors such as irrigation, the use of fertilizer and other purchased inputs and mechanisation. Only 4-7 percent of cropped land in Africa, or less than 20 percent of the theoretical irrigation potential, is irrigated. This compares with 13 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region with similar population densities and resource endowments. Insufficient investment in soil improvement has led to excessive nutrient extraction through crop production (Scherr, 1999). Soil degradation over the last 50 years has significantly constrained Africa's cropland productivity and yield growth (Oldman, 1998).

36. Africa's capital stock per hectare of agricultural land in 1988-92 was about one sixth of that in Asia and less than one-quarter of that in Latin America (UNCTAD, 1998). Under capitalisation is associated with the lack of competitiveness of African products in world markets. Since 1970, Africa has suffered losses in its world market share for agricultural exports in particular for commodities like groundnuts, cocoa and coffee.

37. Weakly developed agriculture is associated with food insecurity and poverty. Today more than 180 million people in Africa do not have enough to eat for a healthy life, one third of the total population. FAO's latest projected trends in under-nourishment for Africa and for the Near East/ North Africa are given in table 1.

Table 1. Projected trends in under-nourishment.











Percent of population

Millions of people

Sub-Saharan Africa









Near East/North Africa









Source: Agriculture towards 2015/30, Technical Interim Report, FAO, 2000.
The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2000, FAO, 2001.

38. These projections show that no progress has been made since 1992 (the base period for the World Food Summit target) in either region towards reducing the number of undernourished people. Due to population growth and under present level of investment in agriculture the total number of hungry people will remain approximately constant until 2015 before decreasing towards 2030. This is far from what is needed to meet the World Food Summit target of halving the number of hungry people by 2015. The data mask differences between countries within the regions. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, six countries have made significant progress toward food security, whereas others are worse off than at any time during the last three decades. Exceptionally high rates of growth will have to be attained by the latter for them to achieve the WFS target.

e) Paradox

39. In pursuing the goals set for agriculture in the NEPAD, African countries face a glaring contradiction. There is convincing evidence that development, food security and poverty alleviation will not be achieved without rapid growth in agriculture, and it is widely recognised that increased investment in productivity-inducing resources such as land and water is needed for this. However, the financial resources allocated by governments and development partners to agriculture, land and water improvement remain disproportionately low in relation to the latter's importance, and are declining. Attention has been drawn repeatedly to this paradox with no apparent effect.

40. Declining investment in agriculture, land and water has been explained in a number of ways. Low investment in land and water improvement, especially irrigation, has been ascribed to high development costs contributing to low returns on investment, negative social and environmental impacts particularly of large schemes, inefficient water use, and lack of financial and organisational sustainability due to inadequate operation and management. Greater efforts are needed to correct misconceptions about the costs and benefits of investing in land and water improvement. However, another, possibly more effective, way of beginning to resolve the paradox of inadequate and declining investment in land and water is to demonstrate more clearly than in the past the impact of such investment on desired development outcomes.


a) Background

41. The use of macro economic ratios provides only approximate information particularly when applied to developing countries because of scarce and often unreliable data. Furthermore, no insight is given into the nature of linkages between investment and development,nor on investments made by farmers to augment their capital stock, for example, in land, water and related production inputs and activities that contribute significantly to increase production. The challenge of revealing the relationship between investment and agricultural outcomes is complicated, as many factors influence the effectiveness of such investment. Few systematic records exist of past investments, and few projections have examined the investment implications that must underlie any assumption on agricultural growth (FAO, 1996).

42. FAO has estimated that total annual gross investment in agriculture in developing countries needed to reach the WFS target of halving the number of hungry by 2015 would be about US$180 billion. This includes investment in primary agriculture as well as storage, processing and support infrastructure. The same study showed that a continuation of past annual investment rates until 2015 would fall short of requirements to meet the WFS target by 12 percent for all developing countries and by 38 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa (FAO, 2001). While these long-term estimates may be useful to attract political and popular attention to the issue, planners, donors and investors at country level require more quantitative information on investment in agriculture and its likely shorter-term impact at national level.

43. Because of the lack of more specific information, national budgetary submissions for agricultural financing are too frequently based on generalisations about the contribution of agriculture to development and the assumed effects agricultural expenditure may have on achieving development goals such as economic growth rates. While such generalisations and assumptions may be valid, they remain unconvincing to representatives from national authorities responsible for allocating scarce budgetary resources between economic sectors. Arguments supporting investment in agriculture need to be based on rigorous analysis to enable better understanding of the relationships influencing the likely economic impact of investment in productivity-enhancing factors such as land and water. Better insight into these linkages would enable more rational inter-sector allocation of funds as well as within the agricultural sector.

b) Proposed approach

44. Rationale. A procedure has been developedfor use by governments to develop scenarios for country-specific investment in land and water improvement and production intensification. By placing agriculture in the context of the rural economy, the procedure also takes into consideration investment needs in processing, marketing and elements of rural infrastructure. In this way it provides a country-driven instrument to quantify the costs and benefits of investment in the sector, and one that helps understand how such investment relates to specific development objectives, thereby strengthening the case, at national level, for increased financial allocations to agriculture.

45. The procedure is conceived to assess investment requirements for incremental production that would be required to meet anticipated increased food needs at country level. It cannot address the issue of how or whether such needs can be translated into effective demand. The procedure is empirical and approximate but straightforward, transparent and adaptable to country circumstances. The accuracy and reliability of results obtained should thus not be misinterpreted. It has the advantage over more global approaches of enabling governments to track relationships between investment in a range of selected items contributing to development, and chosen development goals such as growth and food gaps. Attention is thus focussed on trying to demonstrate how investment in agriculture influences development rather than assuming this to be the case. The procedure can be tailored to individual country circumstances and choices by selecting a preferred development goal, by including investment items most likely to influence the goal and by applying country-specific unit costs for each investment item. It does not prescribe investment items or the source of funding for investment.

46. The procedure's greatest value is likely to be that it provides agricultural authorities with an instrument to quantify the likely costs and benefits of investing in the sector. Such quantification - particularly as it becomes more refined with use - should serve to strengthen agriculture's case for greater prominence in policy debates and investment allocation with those who control finances in countries, with donors and with potential investors. It is a step towards relatively detailed analysis of the impact of agricultural investment on given growth targets, which is a pre-condition for realistic policy. It enables policy goals to be analysed in terms of investment requirements even though in relatively crude fashion. Greater insight into the linkages between investment in agriculture and desired development outcomes at country level should help reverse the downward trend in agricultural investment.

47. Increased demand. Taking this approach, the procedure is used to estimate investment required to generate incremental production needed to meet the WFS goal by 2015 as illustrated in the "on track" (path to WFS target) projection in the following diagram. Additional food needs have to be quantified before possible investments to meet these increased needs can be established under various assumptions.

Undisplayed Graphic

Source: The state of food insecurity in the world 2001, FAO

48. The anticipated additional demand for food is expressed by FAO in a revised per capita kcal food intake for each country that would achieve the goal of halving the number of undernourished people assuming that the WFS target applies to each country and that the per capita calorie consumption pattern remains the same as the base year (1995/1997)3. This enhanced daily per capita calorie food intake (consumption) and projected population size provides the anticipated increased demand for food at national level. Population and income growth assumptions determine whether such demand for food becomes effective demand in both the "business as usual" as well as in the "on-track" scenarios.

49. Increased domestic production. The need for increased domestic production is arrived at by subtracting FAO's latest estimates of likely food supply in 20154 from the anticipated increased demand for food. The portion of the increased demand to come from increased domestic production is established keeping the AT 2015/30 Self-Sufficiency Ratios (SSR) constant. Doing this assumes that net imports of foodstuffs will increase at the same rate as domestic production. Increased production requirements vary according to country-specific planning assumptions. Ongoing policy and investment interventions, which could impact substantially on domestic production (for instance, emphasis on rice production in Ghana), are not considered.

50. Yield increases and harvested land expansion. Increased harvested area (rainfed and irrigated) and higher yields provide the required increase in production by country. The AT 2015 crop growth factors (yield increases and harvested land expansion) for each of the 34 crops under the "business as usual scenario" were used. It is assumed that increased fertilizer inputs will also contribute to improved yields. Because fertilizer use in Africa is low, farmers will achieve higher aggregate yields at national level only when fertilizer use becomes more profitable. This implies that increased demand for food becomes effective, that increased food supply originates primarily from domestic production and that improved fertilizer response, for which investment in soil fertility is a prerequisite, materialises.

51. Investment. In order to relate increased production to investment, capital items contributing to agricultural production, developed by FAO, are proposed. These cover resource and input requirements for primary agriculture, marketing and processing facilities and include other elements of rural development such as infrastructure. No direct provision has been made for investment in technology development and transfer because of the difficulty of establishing a basis to estimate this for Africa as a whole. Individual countries may thus chose to add research and extension as a capital item contributing to agricultural development.

c) Interim results

52. When additional production to meet the WFS target is expressed as a percentage of projected production in 2015, results suggest that 7 African countries would need to produce up to 10 per cent more food, 27 countries between 10 and 25 per cent and 12 countries in excess of 25 percent more food by 2015. Increased production to achieve the established goal, under the assumptions made, seems to be substantial for most countries. Additional area under rainfed and irrigated land is required to achieve this increased production.

53. Based on the needs assessment, additional investment is required to achieve this increased production; 21 countries would require up to 25 percent more investment in land and water development, 14 countries between 25 and 50 percent and 11 countries in excess of 50 percent, when such investment is expressed as a portion of additional total investment in the primary sector (crop and livestock production). This includes investment by public and private sector including farmers. It must be emphasized that these results are provisional and approximate.


54. The case for investment in agriculture in Africa, in particular for land and water, is clear. It is estimated that in the coming decades some three-quarters of the projected growth in crop production in sub-Saharan Africa will come from intensification with the remaining quarter from arable land expansion. Irrigation is fundamental to agricultural intensification, and there is also a need for more investment in land and rainfed agriculture in less-favourable areas where most of the rural poor reside. Although information is scarce, there are indications that in Africa investment in agriculture, land and water has declined or at best stagnated.

55. In this context, a two-pronged approach is proposed to strengthen the case for investment in agriculture:



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1 The New Partnership for Africa's Development, October 2001

2 To reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by half between 1990 and 2015; To enrol all children of school age in primary schools by 2015; To make progress towards gender equality and empowering women by eliminating gender disparities in the enrolment in primary and secondary education by 2015; To reduce infant and child mortality ratios by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015; To reduce maternal mortality ratios by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015; To provide access for all who need reproductive health services by 2015; To implement national strategies for sustainable development by 2005, so as to reverse the loss of environmental resources by 2015.

3 It should be noted that the AT2015/30 scenario is based on the UN 1998 Assessment for population projections and on FAOSTAT data as known in June 1999. The scenario is currently being revised and will be presented in the final AT2015/30 report due early 2002.

4 Estimates of food supply in 2015 are presented in Agriculture Towards 2015/30, Technical Interim report, April 2000. However, data used by FAO are subject to continuous revision and only country specific information provided by OAU countries can lead to greater accuracy in these estimates. The estimates are in particular sensitive to population growth, and as such, also the estimate used for daily per capita calorie food intake.