Spreading the Wealth


Spreading the Wealth

One of the online magazines I enjoy reading is ‘This is Africa’, you can check them out here

I read an interesting article titled ‘Spreading the Wealth’ and figured I’d share some facts that I thought were interesting.

  • Agriculture growth is one of the most effective ways to support the livelihoods of the poorest.
  • Most Africans remain bound to agriculture, with approx. 60% of the work force engaged in this sector. The dependence of the labour force on agriculture is high in the likes of Burkina Faso (92%), Rwanda (89%), Burundi (88%), Niger (80%) and Guinea Bissau (80%).
  • A recent survey of 7 countries by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) found that agriculture-led growth consistently led to higher rates of poverty reduction compared to non-agricultural sector growth.
  • According to the IFPRI, in several cases growing food staples is proving to be more effective at reducing poverty compared to growing exports crops.
  • Besides generating greater income for rural communities, improved agricultural productivity impacts the urban poor by lowering prices of food products.
  • The proportion of Ghanaian population living below the extreme poverty line declined from 36.5% to 18.2% between 1991/2 and 2005/6. Agriculture which accounts for 56% of employment and 30% of GDP, was a key driver to this change.
  • One of the most profound investments governments can make to support agriculture is in the area of infrastructure. High transport cost prove a major impediment to market access for the rural poor.
  • One of the biggest emerging threat to the sector is climate change.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  • 'Yemi Thomas
    September 4, 2013

    Quite insightful but yet worrisome that the government would ignore these pointers or better still pay lip service to them.All hope is not lost yet ‘cos budding Agripreneurs(that you have succeeded in turning us to overnight) would catch in on this and make a commercially viable venture out of Agriculture.However, i do have a question.Please expatiate how climate change poses a threat or challenge to the thriving of Agriculture.Looking forward to your soonest response.Good job as always.’Yemi Thomas. ACA

    • Kofo Durosinmi-Etti
      September 10, 2013

      Thanks for your kind words Yemi. You’ve asked a very relevant and huge question. Climate change is one of the most serious environmental threats facing mankind worldwide. It affects agriculture in several ways, including its direct impact on food production. Agriculture in Africa is highly dependent on the weather conditions, unlike the developed world we have not yet adopted the necessary technology to help mitigate against the risk the weather presents. Crops and livestock thrive well in certain climatic conditions and when there is a change in the climate, the crops and livestock cease to thrive. This could lead to famine, loss of income and increased incidence of poverty to mention a few.Overall, climate change could make it more difficult to grow crops, raise animals, and catch fish in the same ways and same places as we have done in the past. The effects of climate change also need to be considered along with other evolving factors that affect agricultural production, such as changes in farming practices and technology.Available evidence shows that climate change is global, likewise its impacts; but the most adverse effects will be felt mainly by developing countries, especially those in Africa, due to their low level of coping capabilities.As the planet warms, rainfall patterns shift, and extreme events such as droughts, floods, and forest fires become more frequent, which results in poor and unpredictable yields, thereby making farmers more vulnerable, particularly in Africa. Farmers (who constitute the bulk of the poor in Africa), face prospects of tragic crop failures, reduced agricultural productivity, increased hunger, malnutrition and diseases. It is projected that crop yield in Africa may fall by 10-20% by 2050 or even up to 50% due to climate change, particularly because African agriculture is predominantly rain-fed and hence fundamentally dependent on the vagaries of weather.I hope this high level summary gives you a better understanding of the threat climate change poses to agriculture.

  • Yemi Thomas
    September 10, 2013

    Quite incisive and enlightening.Great job as always.


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