Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


Views from the Center


This is a joint post with Julie Walz.

Just ahead of the G8 summit on May 19 at Camp David, a new report by the ONE Campaign highlights the opportunity to focus on real and sustained investments in African agriculture that could impact the lives of millions.  The report includes very timely recommendations for the heads of the G-8 and other world leaders:

  1. Create a New G8 Food Security Initiative. As the G-8 prepares to meet next month at Camp David, the lack of progress on food security is of great concern.  The L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (agreed upon at the 2009 G8 summit) has seen inadequate progress and the financial pledges are set to expire this year.  ONE argues that a new global compact on food security should include a commitment to provide at least $12 billion in additional funding, focus on country ownership, and create clear goals and outcome targets.
  2. Revitalize the Maputo Commitments. In 2003 members of the African Union signed the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, promising to spend 10 percent of national budgets on agriculture and rural development.  Many countries have failed to meet this target.  African governments must renew their commitments and improve the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) – an African-owned initiative to support their own country investment plans.
  3. Galvanize Sustainable Private Sector Investment.  The private sector has a crucial role to play in African agriculture, and investments are needed to improve seeds and fertilizers, farming practices, distribution and marketing, among others.  African governments should focus on attracting the private sector by creating policies and regulations to improve the business climate, safeguard land rights, and improve rural infrastructure and regional integration.
  4. Address Structural Problems and Price Volatility.  Food prices have remained high and unpredictable since the global food crisis in 2007/8, which continues to push millions further into poverty.  The ONE report argues that world leaders must adhere to the Agriculture Action Plan (agreed at the Cannes G20 in 2011) and undertake financial market reforms as recommended by the Financial Stability Board.  It also suggests that the European Union should create a regulatory body similar to the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

At CGD, we have convened a working group on the Rome-based agencies (FAO, WFP and IFAD), to suggest ways in which these agencies can work together to address hunger and food security.  The group will also focus on how to make member states more accountable for their actions related to food and agriculture, especially when these actions have wide-ranging impacts regionally and globally.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.