Whether for profit or social motives - and often both - an increasing number of investors are targeting opportunities in African agriculture. At the same time innovative approaches for deploying aid to support farming businesses linked to smallholders are emerging. This blog provides a snapshot of who is doing what, where and how.

21 November 2010

Why is aid not delivering poverty reduction in Mozambique?

According to a recent report by the Government of Mozambique, there have been improvements in access to education and health services over the past decade, but poverty has not fallen. In fact, in the central region, an area with huge natural potential for agriculture, it has increased markedly. Across the country child malnutrition remains at the same level as in 2002, despite billions of aid over the period. What is going on?

The report puts the blame squarely on the lack of support for the agriculture sector. Aid dollars of some $1.6 billion per year - equivalent to 50% of government revenues - have been focused on health and education, while largely ignoring the need to boost agricultural productivity. Farming yields are some of the lowest in Africa, Mozmabique has to import large volumes of staple crops and the poor are exposed to rising international food prices.

"Achieving greater success in stimulating the agricultural sector, particularly but not exclusively the family sector, is the central policy recommendation derived from this assessment", the report concludes.