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Impact Investing in Agriculture: how can Africa sustainably unlock its growth potential?

How is agriculture pivotal to the success of the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are global objectives that succeeded the Millennium Development Goals on 1 January 2016. The SDGs will shape national development plans over the next 15 years. From ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.

In particular, a focus on rural development and investment in agriculture (crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture) are powerful tools to end poverty and hunger by 2030 and bring about sustainable development. Agriculture also has a major role to play in combating climate change.

Central to achieving the SDGs are businesses and the investors that finance them. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) considers the private sector to be a "key ally" in eradicating hunger, stating: "in recent decades, the governance of food and agriculture has been increasingly transformed on a global level by new technological, knowledge-based, financial and managerial resources and innovation."

Why is Africa so important from an agricultural perspective? FAO statistics from 2016 highlight why Africa has...

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