IFPRI report: How China and Africa can promote cooperation in agricultural modernization

BY XINYUAN SHANG AND LIWEN ZHANG

Agriculture is key to improving food security and reducing poverty in Africa. Studies have shown that agriculture-driven growth on the continent contributes more to poverty reduction than growth driven by other sectors. Agriculture is a major source of income for most of the rural population of Africa South of the Sahara and accounts for more than half of total employment. But for many reasons, the great potential for African agriculture has yet to be realized. The continent has around 930 million hectares of land suitable for agricultural production—an area greater than that of the entire United States—yet more than half remains relatively inaccessible to good roads and markets.

One emerging catalyst for change is China. As the country has become a strong player in international development assistance, its work on agricultural modernization in Africa has attracted increasing attention. A new IFPRI report examines the promise of this partnership, exploring its history and scope, and outlines policies to develop an integrated action plan to promote China-Africa cooperation to modernize African agriculture.

Photo credit: Mitchell Maher/IFPRI