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Farming is cool! That’s the message that a famous Nigerian musician and an Ivorian football superstar are traveling to Ethiopia for.
They trying to promote Agricultural investment over industrialization as part of the ONE Campaign, in a sub-project known as do-agric on January 29, 2013, at the Raddison Blu.
Championed by none other than Nigerian singer- songwriter D’banj and Yaya Touré, the Ivorian football superstar, do-agric will lobby African governments on behalf of farmers to get at least 10pct of national budgets invested in agriculture activities, upholding the 2003 Maputo declaration.
“There are massive untapped business opportunities in agriculture that could create jobs for millions of Africans on and off the farm,” D’banj said. “I want Africans to know that farming is not only the foundation of the economy, but also that farming is cool. I believe that, if the needed attention is given to agriculture, we Africans will not only feed ourselves, but also the rest of the world.”
It was revealed at the launching ceremony that there are more than 400 million Africans living in extreme poverty. Of those 70pct live in rural areas that depend on agriculture. Agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be 11 times greater in reducing poverty than in other non-agriculture sectors, such as utilities and mining.
A report entitled; Ripe for Change: The Promise of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation was released by One. The report calls on African governments to get rid of the gender gap in agriculture, decrease hurdles to intra-regional commerce, design nutrition goals into agriculture sector strategies and foster an enabling environment for smallholder integration and responsible private sector investment.
As of yet, only eight countries have started to invest 10pct of their national budgets.
Ethiopia expended an average of 15.2pct of public spending on agriculture from 2003 to 2010, the One report stated. Thus the country managed to decrease extreme poverty by 49pct between 1995 and 2011.
ONE is a campaign and advocacy organization of more than 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. It raises public awareness to combat AIDS and avertable illnesses, lobbies to increase funding for agriculture and demands greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. The African union has declared 2014 the year of agriculture.