Agriculture accounts for about two-fifths of gross domestic
product (GDP) in East Africa and is the primary source
of income for more than two thirds of the population. Its
growth must be maintained at 5-6% annually in order to
achieve the structural change and poverty reduction targets
that are consistent with the expectations laid out in the New
Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).
Agricultural technology is fundamental to productivity growth
and requires effective and efficient innovation systems in
order to generate high returns in investments. According to
the 2008 World Development Report, the policy environment
for agriculture in much of Africa has much improved
relative to earlier years. This justifies increased investment in
agricultural technology development in order to negate losses
in foregone returns.