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September 8th, 2017 / Devex.com

This year’s African Green Revolution Forum began Wednesday, convening ministers, donors, civil society and business leaders to discuss how to transform Africa’s agriculture sector.

This year’s focus is on how to improve and boost jobs in the sector, drawing particular attention to the needs and challenges facing small-scale farmers, who bear the brunt of climate change shifts, security threats and lacking rural infrastructure.

Smallholder farmers manage up to 80 percent of the farmland in sub-Saharan Africa. And though they feed roughly 2 billion people, these farmers themselves represent an overwhelming percentage of the continent’s malnourished and impoverished population. Encouraging smallholder farmers to develop their skills into sustainable businesses could help improve food security and generate poverty-reducing economic and agricultural growth.

The 2017 Africa Agriculture Status Report predicts that the continent’s local food market will reach a value of $1 trillion dollars by 2030. Experts realize the urgency of harnessing the agriculture sector’s potential now by addressing areas of concerns and committing to action — or else risking the food market becoming saturated with imported food items.

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