Knowledge Note

Agriculture is the economic foundation of many Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries, employing about 60 percent of the workforce and contributing an average of 30 percent of gross domestic product. For the poorest people, GDP growth originating in agriculture is about four times more effective in raising incomes than GDP growth originating outside the sector. Yet agricultural growth rates for SSA declined in the 2000s and food insecurity remains a concern, with malnourishment only dropping from 34 to 30 percent in two decades. Various projections suggest that food production must increase by 70–100 percent by 2050 to meet the demands of a world with 9 billion people and changing diets. In SSA this will require considerable investments in agricultural development —research, institutional support and infrastructural development.