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October 12th, 2017 / The Guardian, UK

African farming must modernise and replace its ageing workforce if the continent is going to be able to feed its rising population, a report by leading economists has warned.

A transformation from small-scale subsistence farms to mechanised, more commercially viable farms is essential, said experts at the Ghana-based African Centre for Economic Transformation, who outlined a bold plan to revolutionise agriculture and fuel economic growth in a report launched Tuesday at an African finance ministers meeting at the World Bank and backed by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

Their recommendations are that governments increase the rights of female farmers and embrace modern technology, such as drones and satellites, and change land tenure systems, if the agricultural sector is going to be transformed to meet the needs of the continent’s population.

“With a uniquely diverse climate and more than half the world’s uncultivated arable land, Africa has the natural resources to drive a boom in agriculture that can lift millions out of poverty. But we have not yet created the right economic conditions. This excellent report shows how we can do that – and underlines why we must,” said Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel. Read more