WASHINGTON, July 10, 2014–Most experts agree that priming Sub-Saharan Africa’s farm economy – which typically accounts for between 30 to 40% of gross domestic product and 65 to 70% of the labor force – is vital for ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity on the continent.
Now, in a new and concerted push, four countries in eastern Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – are together taking steps to marshal the power of science, boost food and dairy production, put more money into farmers’ pockets, help send and keep children in school, allow them to eat more nutritious meals, and reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint.
The following success stories are drawn from work done under the aegis of the East African Agricultural Productivity Program (EAAPP) financed by the World Bank and partners. The overarching goal of the EAAPP is to increase agricultural productivity and growth in eastern Africa, focusing on priority commodities such as cassava, rice, wheat and smallholder dairy production. The project is implemented by ASARECA, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa and supports the objectives set by African countries through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
“I am pleased that this program is well-aligned with the objectives of CAADP to increase agricultural productivity and improve nutrition, both of which are key to building Africa’s human capital,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region. “These success stories show how science and technology is enabling African farmers to grow more nutritious food and boost inclusive growth.”