Africa’s Agriculture production system has been evolving to sustain continuous emerging trends. The new country analysis support that some parts of Africa are making gradual progress towards agricultural transformation.
Numerous major trends influence African economic transformation. These trends include the rapidly rising population increase, growing land scarcity, urbanization, climate change and human-induced land degradation. These determinants lead to significant demographic and employment changes. Besides, challenges to improving productivity and competitiveness of agriculture in the region. The future of Africa will depend on how governments respond to these critical patterns of change in the economic scenery.
Africa’s Agriculture Trends.
Africa has the youngest and fast-growing population. The labour force is also expanding fast, with most expected to reach working as early as 2030. These trends offer great opportunities for economic transformation; however, the rate of formal employment is not promising. At the same time, rapid population and income growth increase the demand for food and agricultural products. Most youths, therefore, are forced into informal employment and agri-business.
Other factors contribute, which may slow the rate of employment creation unless actions are taken to tackle them. Climate change and rapid population growth signify water scarcity, outbreaks of new diseases and pests, and vast variations of temperatures and rainfall increasingly. Africa also deals with growing land scarcity and degradation as a result of population pressures. Medium plots are shrinking to levels that generate little or no surplus production in most countries due to subdivision of land and greater competition for unutilised land.
Many smallholders left with small farms that are degrading due to continuous cultivation without sufficient soil fertility management. Population pressure is also increasing land prices in Africa, limiting access to land for the younger generation. To effectively harness the emerging opportunities for economic transformation and associated work opportunities, policy-makers will need to anticipate the trends affecting African agriculture and proactively formulate and implement strategies to respond to them
Upcoming Agricultural Strategies
Over the past years, some African governments are effectively promoting farm productivity growth. Some of these countries include Ethiopia and Rwanda. These countries enjoy faster poverty reduction due to increased work opportunities. Higher labour productivity in non-farm segments of the economy, especially with reduced pressure and technology. The rapid diversification of the labour force from farming into other sectors of the economy. Since most African countries remain engaged in agricultural work, agricultures continue to influence employment and livelihood prospects both in agri-food systems and the non-agriculture sectors. A comprehensive agrarian growth strategy that promotes competitive and efficient production and marketing systems is therefore essential. This may, therefore, be the basis of an appropriate employment expansion strategy for most African countries in general.
Favourable policies can also improve Africa’s Agriculture. Governments must firstly, apply inclusive smallholder development policies that enhance the incomes of many rural people practising agriculture and thereby create the multiplier effects that increase employment opportunities in the economy. Secondly, creative forms of public investment will be needed to foster resilient and sustainable growth in agricultural productivity during climate change.
Governments could promote policies that mobilize more resources for education and skills development in agriculture and agri-food systems. Contrary to popular perceptions, more than 30 per cent of the agricultural workforce is below 35 years of age. Successful agricultural production is increasingly knowledge-intensive. Adequate functioning agricultural training schools and colleges can enhance workers’ productivity. The policy also enables young agrarian entrepreneurs to take advantage of new opportunities and encourage inclusive forms of agricultural productivity growth.
internal bonds: How Agriculture Has Grown in Africa