Farmers are the ones ploughing the money

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Dec 6 2012, 06:06:04

Farmers in low- and middle-income countries are vital; we must support them to bring an end to hunger and malnutrition

New data compiled for the Food and Agriculture Organisation's State of Food and Agriculture report, published on Thursday, shows that farmers are, by far, the greatest source of investment in agriculture.

Farmers in low- and middle-income countries invest more than $170bn (£105bn) a year in their farms - about $150 (£93) a farmer. This is three times as much as all other sources of investment combined, four times more than the public sector's contribution and more than 50 times the size of official development assistance to those countries.

Farmers' investment decisions are directly influenced by the investment climate in which they operate. In other words, the crucial factor in stimulating agricultural investment is not the size of government investments - although these need to grow too - but whether, and to what extent, developing country governments can provide adequate conditions for farmers to invest.

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