“Agriculture is transformational if government plays its role” – Asiko
As head of the Rockefeller Foundation in Africa, William Asiko is on a mission.
He believes that agriculture can play a transformational role, but only when all stakeholders are playing their part.
The state, unfashionable as it is, is a critical component in helping structure rural markets; and helping farmers access the value under their soil.
“These countries doing well on the agricultural front — the Rwandas, the Ethiopias, Ghana, Senegal — you will find that these are the same countries that are doing well in other sectors as well”, says Asiko.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the role of government is critical to achieving success in any sort of economic transformation, and more so in agriculture”, says Asiko. “There is a huge role for the public sector to play; that coordination role, that infrastructure role, that policy role — those things are critical.”
He thinks that the private sector or farmers or civil society, “are not going to make that leap to transformation without government”.