Agricultural Policy Analysis
Overall, agriculture offers one of the best opportunities for promoting economic development in Africa including contribution to growth of other sectors and the expansion of the industrial sector.
The growth in the agricultural sector offers the best pay-offs in terms of poverty reduction for African countries as it employs the two thirds of the continent workforce. Concentrating investment in this sector has considerable potential for sustaining growth and poverty reduction There is need to focus more on agricultural transformation including a shift towards more local processing of agricultural produce, to capture greater value and a shift towards a new agricultural practices and technologies to drive up productivity. Policy should focus on achieving transformation agro-based industrialization. African countries need to support the modernization, diversification, and value addition, the promotion of processing of primary commodities, private sector participation in agriculture, agribusiness development, agro-industry linkages, providing special support to integrate women into agri-business value chains, equitable access to land and sustainable land management practices. There is a broadly shared consensus that all this can be achieved with the right agricultural policies and institutions that lead to the diversification of output, boosts productivity, expand markets, trade, and promote strong linkages between agriculture with other economic sectors of the economy. Improved policies are required to achieve efficient, productive, equitable, and sustainable use of the human and natural resource endowment. Because there is a critical skill gap in policy analysis across the region, a regional intervention is needed to build capacity for policy analysis, basing on a Centre of Leadership model proposed in this programme.