Agriculture in Africa: Potential versus reality

AfricaStats2017

In Africa, agriculture accounts for two thirds of livelihoods and food accounts for two thirds of the household budgets of poor people (Image and data from: www.farmingportal.co.za)

With more than 60% of its 1.166 billion people living in rural areas, Africa’s economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. More than 32% of the continent’s gross domestic product comes from the sector.

Agriculture is at the heart of the challenge to harness the continent’s increasing wealth and use it to improve people’s lives.

However, agricultural productivity still remains far from developed world standards. Over 90% of agriculture depends on rainfall, with no artificial irrigation aid. The techniques used to cultivate the soil are still far behind from what has been adopted in Asia and Americas, lacking not only irrigation, but also fertilisers, pesticides and access to high-yield seeds. Agriculture in Africa also experiences basic infrastructural problems such as access to markets and financing.

Singapore is proving to be an engaged ally in the process of changing this reality. Some big players in the agricultural sector with their headquarters in Singapore, are investing heavily in Africa. Technology and skills are being transferred to smallholder farmers and the large-scale producers are cooperating, playing a fair game that will help develop the sector and make it more sustainable. 

This article was published on the Bioeconomic Developments’ blog

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