At African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Cote d’Ivoire, the Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) was launched with the conclusion that the smallholder farmers in Africa need to benefit from the increasing $1 trillion food import market in the continent. This is good news for african agriculture industry.
The report revealed that due to the free market’s effect on African economic growth, especially in the food industry, there is a huge opportunity in for the farmers in this sector and the market may well offer over $1 trillion per year by the end of the next decade.
According to the report, the SMEs and smallholder farmers can create a huge impact because of the revolutionized changes in the agricultural sector of the continent. It can create new jobs and economy can grow further because the results from the mineral industry had not been encouraging.
The President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr Agnes Kalibata said that Africa is now equipped with the latest resources and skilful people. The land is also available and there is potential to become the exporters of food rather than being the importers of food.
She added that the reports suggested that agriculture has transformed from farm to agri-business and it has become the safest investment for the smallholder farmers.
37% of the population has migrated to the cities but the jobs there pay low and the quality of services is also low. The investments in food sector have the potential of growth and better future.
She further added that there is a need of smart investment in Africa with smart support. It is important to transform the small farms into small agri-business helping the farmers through different development stages.
Peter Hazell (Technical Director of the Report) admits the significance of the private sector to transform the food system. SMEs are contributing a lot through value chains by helping the trade in agriculture, farm service, agricultural processing, food and retailing. Bigger companies cannot be ignored as well as their vital role is increasing and helping the industry.
The report suggested that the government should develop the food sector by using various measures i.e. infrastructure, funding in towns and the provision of energy resources. There is a need for more wholesale markets to promote the trade. The government also need to set the standards to ensure the provision of quality food.