UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Yaya Toure Calls to action in support of Do AGRIC Campaign

Launched at the African Union Summit, the Pan-African campaign is about African leaders deciding to create millions of small holder farmers after years of neglecting the agriculture sector.

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African smallholder farmers are the people that feed the continent, but often struggle to feed themselves. They are the people most connected to our land and animals, but can lack the resources to make them thrive. They have been ignored by our leaders for too long. Investing in agriculture pays. It could help lift 85 million people out of extreme poverty by 2024, provide jobs, and boost the continent’s economy. Africa doesn’t just have the potential to feed itself – it has the potential to help feed the world.

70% of African workers already earn a living from agriculture. Better irrigation, farming equipment, storage, market access, and women’s land rights could mean brighter futures for millions.

In 2003, African leaders pledged to invest more in agriculture – eight of them did, but 46 have not kept their promises. 2014 is the African Union Year of Agriculture, so let’s come together and tell them to act.

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Yaya Toure joined other African celebrities to call millions of other Africans to come together and demand leaders to keep the promise they have made to invest 10% of budgets in agriculture, and do more to support smallholder farmers.

'I make my living on the football field playing for my country, Côte d’Ivoire and my team, Manchester City.  But the majority of my fellow Africans make their living on a different type of field. Almost 400 million people across our continent depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The majority are small holder farmers who live in poverty and struggle to feed their families. As an African I know we can do better. Join me in telling leaders to DO AGRIC and sign ONE’s petition', Toure said

In Addis Ababa, the campaign launched at a joint event hosted by the Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO), ActionAid International, ONE, ACORD International, Oxfam and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. It brought together policy makers, multilateral institutions, the private sector, agriculture experts and regional and national farmer organisations from the east, west, and southern regions of Africa.

Participants in the bilingual forum discussed a set of 10 recommendations for how investment in agriculture could be boosted by a mix of public and private sector investment as well as policy reforms that benefit smallholder farmers. These recommendations were presented to the African Union commission, along with a petition from PAFO, at a high level session where DO AGRIC was also on the agenda.

For more information visit: http://www.one.org/africa

Video : DO AGRIC: Message from Yaya Touré
Report: Ripe for Change - The Promise of Africa's Agricultural Transformation
Map: Interactive map on public spending on Agriculture

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