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Agricultural productivity improving in Sub-Saharan Africa, but very slowly

Agricultural productivity growth is a critical factor in controlling the economic and environmental costs of feeding the world’s growing population.  New ERS research finds that agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa has been growing by about one percent per year since the 1980s. A major driver has been adoption of new agricultural technologies developed through agricultural research.  Investment by the CGAIR Consortium of international agricultural research centers has been particularly important, providing about $6 in productivity impacts for every $1 spent by these centers on research. However, rates of new technology adoption and agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa are still low relative to other developing countries. Resource degradation, policies that reduce economic incentives to farmers, the spread of HIV/AIDS, armed conflicts, and low national research and extension capacity have hindered agricultural productivity improvement in the region.  This chart is based on the ERS report, Resources, Policies and Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, ERR-145, released February 2013.

Last updated: Monday, February 25, 2013

For more information contact: Keith Fuglie

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