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From Maputo to Malabo: public agricultural spending and food security in Africa

Charlotte Fontan Sers () and Mazhar Mughal ()

Applied Economics, 2019, vol. 51, issue 46, 5045-5062

Abstract: Africa is the world’s biggest battleground in the fight against hunger. African governments and the international development community have increasingly focused on finding ways and means to end hunger and ensure the right and access to food for the continent’s burgeoning population. Public spending on agriculture is one such measure. This study examines the role government spending on agriculture has played in enhancing the state of Africa’s food security over the past 25 years. We examine the existing relationship between the two, whether this relationship varies over time and space, and whether it depends on the amount spent. We explore various aspects of food security and check whether spending on research and development follows the same patterns as the overall public agricultural spending. We find some evidence of significant beneficial effects of public agricultural spending on food security but only for the countries which allocate greater proportions of their budgets to agriculture. Spending on agricultural research and development also shows a positive impact on Africa’s food security. There also exists some evidence supporting the temporal effects of public spending. We consider that the Maputo Declaration commitment to allocate at least 10% of public spending to agriculture pertinent.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2019.1606411

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