In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of ‘ Realising the Promise of Agriculture for Africa’s Transformation‘, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.
Agriculture in Africa 2019: Special Report
While Africa holds more than 60% of the world’s arable land, the continent’s share in global agricultural production remains low. Vast areas of land are uncultivated and productivity is lower than in much of the rest of the world. Nevertheless, farming is key for the majority of African economies and accounts for at least 15% of the region’s GDP. In addition, around two-thirds of the African population is employed within the sector, the vast majority working on small-scale farms that currently produce around 90% of all output. Chronic long-term underinvestment and poor governance have resulted in a sector that has been unable to play a positive role in transforming the region’s economies, either by ensuring food security, creating jobs or reducing poverty. African agricultural productivity growth is about half that seen in other developing nations. Modest yields result, to a large extent, from the low use of fertilisers and improved seed strains, coupled with a lack of mechanisation and irrigation, and the impact of climate change. However, despite the challenges faced, prospects for Africa’s agricultural sector are relatively positive. UN institutions expect cultivated areas to expand and farmers to increase productivity, through greater use of technology and improved inputs. According to the “Agriculture Outlook 2018-27” report from the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the sector will undergo robust growth, with crop production in sub-Saharan Africa projected to rise 30% between 2018 and 2028. Moreover, greater access to innovative technologies are expected to support the development and application of smart and precision farming techniques.
Winning in Africa’s agricultural market
Agriculture in Africa has a massive social and economic footprint. More than 60 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is smallholder farmers, and about 23 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture. Yet, Africa’s full agricultural potential remains untapped. In a recent analysis, we determined that Africa could produce two to three times more cereals and grains (Exhibit 1), which would add 20 percent more cereals and grains to the current worldwide 2.6 billion tons of output. Similar increases could be seen in the production of horticulture crops and livestock.Building on three years of analysis and on-the-ground experience with agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (see sidebar, “Methodology”), this article offers insights in two areas. First, we address findings from our analysis on where the opportunity for growth lies in African agriculture, looking closely at growth in different countries, land expansion, cost competitiveness, and farmer productivity. Second, we describe practical recommendations on the supply and demand sides for companies—both local and multinational—looking to grow in this high-potential but challenging market. Governments, investors, and development partners can also follow this guidance to support the private sector.
Agricultural opportunities in Africa: Crop farming in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania
Deloitte, October 2017
Our report explores crop production opportunities and finds that three crops in three countries – namely, wheat in Ethiopia, cassava in Nigeria and maize in Tanzania – have considerable investment potential. The risks and challenges involved in production of the identified crops in the respective territories are assessed. Gaps that can be filled through private investment in each crop value chain, as well as issues that need to be addressed to enable greater foreign investment, are also identified. Given the continent’s rising income levels and its large and rapidly growing population, food demand is expected to soar in the medium term, creating new growth opportunities for producers in the sector. By 2030, 20% of the world’s population is expected to be in Africa. As the continent’s population rises, the
pressure on Africa’s food supply will require substantial investment, in order to guarantee food security. Most of this will have to be private.