why is agriculture important in africa



Agriculture is one of the most beneficial assets a country can have. It creates more jobs and helps eliminate poverty and hunger, which are immediate problems Africa is facing.

Agriculture is by far the single most important economic activity in Africa. It provides employment for about two-thirds of the continent’s working population and for each country contributes an average of 30 to 60 percent of gross domestic product and about 30 percent of the value of exports.


How important is agriculture to Africa’s economy?

 · Africa’s population will nearly double by 2050 and quadruple by 2100, making it harder to feed communities and generate wealth, but agriculture in Africa has the potential to flourish. In fact, Africa can add 20 percent more grain to the 2.6 billion tons of worldwide production, and nearly the same amount of fruits and vegetables. Agriculture also has the …

Why is agriculture important?

We strongly believe that a transparent and mutually accountable collaboration between development partners and African governments and non-state actors, including smallholder farmers, will allow our continent not only to achieve food and nutrition security by 2025 – 5 years before the SDGs objective – but also to achieve food and nutrition …

What does Farm Africa do?

 · What role can agriculture play in Africa’s economic transformation? Agricultural growth doesn’t only benefit the people in rural areas and the farmers, it also benefits the rest of the economy. It creates the conditions for other sectors of the economy, such as industry and the manufacturing sector, to have a market to sell to.

How can agriculture be modernised in Africa?

 · “Agriculture is the most important sector of the African economy and will have to be its driving engine out of poverty. It accounts for 65% of the continent’s employment and …


Why is agriculture so important?

Agriculture provides food, clothing, and shelter. It helps people to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Does Africa depend on agriculture?

With 70% of Africans dependent on agriculture for livelihoods, the sector is critical to the economies of all African countries. As a sector its growth is central to increasing prosperity, food security, industrialization, intra-African trade and to bolstering Africa’s contribution to global trade.

Why is agriculture an important development?

Agricultural development is one of the most powerful tools to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity, and feed a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050. Growth in the agriculture sector is two to four times more effective in raising incomes among the poorest compared to other sectors.

Why is agriculture important in South Africa?

Agriculture is central to fostering economic growth, reducing poverty, and improving food security in the Southern African region. More than 70 percent of the rural population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods, and regional economic growth has been constrained by poor performance in the agriculture sector.

Is agriculture the backbone of Africa?

“Agriculture is the backbone of the African economy”, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and combined with the challenges of a growing population, the organization is now joining forces with the African Union to develop a way of mechanizing farming throughout the continent in a sustainable way.

How did agriculture develop in Africa?

The first efforts to domesticate plants in West Africa started slowly. Eventually, West Africans began to settle and grow their food full-time. From 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE, the practice of farming spread across West Africa. These early farmers grew millet and sorghum.

Why agriculture is important in developing countries?

Agriculture can be important for developing countries in several ways; where food security is weak it can be a vital source of nutrition, it provides income for farmers and farm workers and thus revenues for rural areas, job opportunities in related areas such as processing and in some cases export revenue and thus …

How can we improve agriculture in Africa?

8 ways Africa can raise farm productivity and boost growthDevelop high-yield crops. … Boost irrigation. … Increase the use of fertilizers. … Improve market access, regulations, and governance. … Make better use of information technology. … Adopt genetically modified (GM) crops.More items…•

Why is agriculture important in Kenya?

Agriculture is also responsible for most of the country’s exports, accounting for up to 65% of merchandise exports in 2017. As such, the sector is central to the government’s Big 4 development agenda, where agriculture aims to attain 100% food and nutritional security for all Kenyans by 2022.

How can agriculture improve the economy?

Agricultural development can stimulate economic development outside of the agricultural sector, and lead to higher job and growth creation. Increased productivity of agriculture raises farm incomes, increases food supply, reduces food prices, and provides greater employment opportunities in both rural and urban areas.

What impact does agriculture have on the economy?

What is agriculture’s share of the overall U.S. economy? Agriculture, food, and related industries contributed $1.055 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, a 5.0-percent share. The output of America’s farms contributed $134.7 billion of this sum—about 0.6 percent of GDP.

How agriculture contribute to the economy of South Africa?

The agricultural sector contributed around 10 percent to South Africa’s total export earnings in FY2020 at a value of $10.2 billion. Citrus, wine, table grapes, corn and apples accounted for the largest exports by value. South Africa also exports wool, nuts, sugar, mohair, and pears to name just a few products.


What are some interesting facts about agriculture in Africa?

Agriculture is one of the most beneficial assets a country can have. It creates more jobs and helps eliminate poverty and hunger, which are immediate problems Africa is facing. Africa’s population will nearly double by 2050 and quadruple by 2100, making it harder to feed communities and generate wealth, …

What is the purpose of Farm Africa?

Farm Africa’s initiative is to improve smallholder farm practices and alleviate poverty starts with the stakeholders.

Why is climate important for farming?

Climate is a deciding factor in the success or failure of a farm. Most of the continent’s irrigation resides in only five of the 54 countries, making farmers more vulnerable to weather fluctuations. Farm Africa provides forecasts, insurance and small-scale irrigation systems to protect farmers against unexpected weather events.

How many acres are arable in Africa?

About 50 to 70 million acres in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa are arable, while the rest is lost to poor infrastructure, conflict zones, or under forest cover and conservation. Grow Africa’s mission is to increase private sector investments in agriculture in Africa, which addresses obstacles beyond the number of inputs.

How much land has Africa seized?

According to the U.N., foreign investment contracts in Africa have seized nearly 50 million acres of land. However, these acts were not always conducted diligently or openly. Although some sources suggest that there is ample land for the taking, local indigenous people are often overlooked as viable owners.

How much of Africa’s land is irrigated?

In fact, only six percent of arable land in Africa is irrigated. Producing more food, such as grain in Africa requires investment. In order for maximum output of crops, there should be approximately eight times more fertilizer, six times better seeds and funding of $8 billion for storage and $65 billion for irrigation.

What is low risk in agriculture?

Low risk means access to credit and therefore valuable inputs that will increase yield. The success of many farms depends on financing and resources. A crucial resource to increasing Africa’s production and growth is giving farmers access to more inputs.

How much of Africa’s GDP is agriculture?

Agriculture averages 24% of GDP across the continent. With post-harvest activities taken into account, agriculture-related industry accounts for nearly half of all economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa. The region holds about half of the world’s fertile and as-yet-unused land – and yet it spends US$25 billion annually importing food.

What is the role of capital markets in Africa?

Capital markets have played a critical role in creating SMEs in developed countries. They bring money to the table and also help groom small and medium-sized start-ups into successful enterprises. Venture capital in Africa, however, barely exists outside South Africa.

How can non-profits help rural communities?

Some non-profit organisations and foundations are experimenting with promoting rural entrepreneurship by donating cows or other livestock to rural communities. Organisations like Heifer International provide cows, along with training about how to raise them and profit from animal husbandry.

How does rural enterprise help China?

By keeping workers and economic activity in rural areas, China has helped expand rural markets and limit rural-urban migration.

What was the agricultural development of China in the late 1970s and 1980s?

farm machinery. With strong backward linkages between these rural enterprises and Chinese farmers, agricultural development in China grew substantially in the late 1970s and 1980s. This happened through farmland capital construction, chemical fertilisation and mechanisation.

How can rural innovation be promoted?

These can be complemented by simple ways to promote rural innovation that involve low levels of funding, higher local commitments and consistent government policy. For example, China’s mission-oriented “Spark Program”, created to popularise modern technology in rural areas, had spread to more than 90% of the country’s counties by 2005.

What are the roles of banks in Africa?

Banks and financial institutions also play key roles in fostering technological innovation and supporting investment in homegrown businesses. Unfortunately, their record in promoting technological innovation in Africa has been poor.

How much of Africa’s economy is dependent on agriculture?

Agriculture in Africa: Potential versus reality. 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.

What are the problems of agriculture in Africa?

Agriculture in Africa also experiences basic infrastructural problems such as access to markets and financing.

What is the legacy of the agricultural policy environment?

The legacy of the agricultural policy environment is evident in global and domestic markets. Africa’s farmers have a limited presence in global markets. The region as a whole exports less than Thailand. West Africa now accounts for around one fifth of world rice imports. Nigeria’s food import bill for rice currently exceeds $2bn a year. The reason: average annual rice production has stagnated at 28kg per capita since 1990, while per capita consumption has increased from 18kg to 34kg. Rice imports have been growing at 11% a year to fill the gap.

How does farm mechanization help the farming community?

Farm mechanisation greatly helps the farming community in developing overall economic growth. These conclusions were observed in a study conducted in the Punjab Agricultural University in India, but similar results were reached in other developing countries such as Bangladesh. This model will certainly bear fruits when replicated in Africa as a whole.

How much did the US pay cotton farmers?

That is the reality of cotton farmers in west Africa. The United States, the world’s largest cotton producer, paid its cotton farmers $32.9bn to grow their crops between 1995 and 2012. US farmers are subsidised so they produce more cotton than they would otherwise, lowering the global price.

Why are agriculture subsidies important?

Agriculture subsidies make an important factor of imbalance in the international market. Although Africa has one of the lowest cost of production of agricultural commodities in the world, it loses competitiveness in the international market as wealthier countries subsidise their famers, sometimes to the extent that the selling price of crops is lower than the production cost.

Which country has the highest fertiliser prices?

Farmers in Africa face some of the world’s highest fertiliser prices, and not just in landlocked countries where transport costs are higher, like Burundi and Uganda. Farmers in Nigeria and Senegal pay three times more than their counterparts in Brazil and India.

The New Fashion in Development

Among donors, agriculture is once again the hot topic of international development. A gamut of international agencies – including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan – have emphasised the nee…

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Being Competitive

  • The patterns of global trade in food are changing fast. In recent years even China, long admired for its determined pursuit of self-sufficiency in food, has become a net importer of maize. For better and for worse, globalised commercial agriculture is coming to Africa. The reflex response has often been to bemoan the ‘land grab’ by multinational food groups and investors from Asian …

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A Question of Scale, and Value

  • Being commercial means being competitive. In agriculture, commercial has become a short hand for ‘big’. Commercial farmers are generally assumed to be ‘largeholders’ – typically, the big estates in Egypt, Kenya, South Africa or Zimbabwe. This is wrong. In purely economic terms, medium-scale farms are the hardest pressed to generate returns on investment: they require mechanise…

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The Example of Kenya

  • Rural livelihoods around Mount Kenya have been transformed. While large commercial estates dominate production of roses, two thirds of Kenyan vegetables are grown by smallholders. Farmed by hand, with strict controls on the use of fertiliser and pesticides, smallholders’ green beans and sweet potato are premium crops – and of comparable quality to those cultivated by l…

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in Defence of ‘Directed’ Agriculture

  • Most smallholders are risk-averse. Many are wary of collective ownership and non-traditional crops. None will be convinced by policy statements. In Rwanda, critics of President Kagame’s reforms caution that at least some aspects of policy are coercive. Local administrators employed by the government in Kigali are tasked with ‘zoning’ and ‘mono-cropping’ and the resettlement of …

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An African Answer to Globalisation

  • The opportunities for African agriculture in world trade are real, and demonstrable. Where food security is precarious, state direction of staple crops is inevitable in order to build up a national grain reserve. That is a different priority from the emphasis on self-sufficiency that has become familiar from AGRA and other donor agencies. Self-sufficiency implies growing enough to feed y…

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