Africa Agricultural development over the past three decades
Agriculture is the backbone of most African countries and forms a considerable portion of the economies in these countries. Agricultural sector contributes towards major priorities of the continent such as eradication of hunger, poverty; improved intra-continental trade and investments, industrialization and economic diversification, sustainable management of resources and environment, generation of employment and human security. Africa has enough resources and potential to not just cater the needs of its own people but also to play a key role in establishing its presence in global food markets. Its potential lies in natural resources such as land, water and oceans, its manpower and knowledge and its huge market. In addition, agribusinesses generate huge employment to youth entering Africas labor market every year.
In the last three decades, Africas population has almost doubled overall and tripled in urban areas. Also the number of undernourished people has increased over this period. From being self sufficient in 1960s, the continent has become a net importer of many agricultural products. Food security remains an unanswered phenomenon. Despite rapid urbanization, the population in rural areas has also increased significantly. It has been estimated that Africa will have a population of two billion people by 2050 and feeding 1.5 billion and then 2 billion people in 2030 and 2050 respectively is a daunting challenge that the continent needs to face.
In Sub Saharan Africa, the majority of population resides in rural areas and around 80% of farmers are small-holders. Nevertheless, productivity of these smallholder farmers is less as compared to other regions resulting in perpetuated poverty in rural communities. It still needs to be known why smallholder farmers are reluctant to adapt modern agricultural practices and technologies. Better allocation of limited resources throughout the economy can be achieved by a cumulative effect of structural transformation in agriculture and structural transformation of rest of the economy.
Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP)
An initiative by African government namely The Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) drives the continental agricultural revolution by increasing investments and fostering entrepreneurship in agribusiness and agrifood value chains aiming at improved national and regional markets. Till date, 44 African countries have signed the CAADP to allocate 10% of their national budget to agriculture. There have been increased investments and productivity and reduced poverty and hunger in various countries such as Ghana, Togo, Zambia, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Congo, Senegal, Ethiopia and Malawi. There are various other programs that complement CAADP such as the African Biosciences Initiative (ABI), the Agriculture and Food Insecurity Risk Management (AFIRM), Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET), The Climate Change programme, The Food and Nutrition Security Programme, the Fish Governance and Trade Programme.
In order to promote investments in agriculture and assure producers and other agents in the agrifood value chains, the focus was laid on five priority areas:
- Increasing agricultural production more sustainably, while absorbing a growing labour force
- Promoting diversification based on high quality processed products
- Promoting efficient and more equitable agrifood value chain development
- Making farms and agricultural systems more resilient to a changing environment
- Developing regional markets and controlling international integration
This can be achieved by
- Capitalizing on results obtained so far
- Creating a conducive economic environment for sustainable agriculture
- Reaffirming american leadership and facilitating its expression
- Coordinating talks on the future of the sector, predicting trends and promoting a vision.
Online courses on agribusiness at James Lind Institute
James Lind Institute is a pioneer in the field of online training courses in various fields such as clinical development, public health and tropical medicine, pharmaceutical medicine, medical communication and journalism and social and environmental sciences. The globally accredited and industry specific programs fine tunes your skills to match the needs of ever growing market. James Lind Institute will soon be launching online training programs related to agribusiness. For more details please visit www.jliedu.com