Agriculture as a focus in Africa

Agriculture is the most critical field of the African economy and the motivating factor behind hunger. It constitutes 65 percent of the continent’s employment and 75 percent of its domestic commerce. Agriculture in Africa has a significant social and economic presence. About 60 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is a small and marginal farmer.

The absolute agricultural potential of Africa lies untapped. Considerably, Africa could generate two to three times more cereals, which will add 20% to existing cereals and grains production. Similar changes are visible in the development of cultivation croplands. Most importantly the countries in Africa are exploring the advantages of agro-processing as most of the agricultural products in Uganda including tobacco, coffee and fish are exported in the raw form across the world. Additionally, Ethiopia is another untapped African market for agriculture that has some of most arable lands in the world. At current times, there is investment of 25% of total budget in agriculture even though it is the economy’ backbone by representing 50% of total GDP of Ethiopia and it is also responsible for 85% of export revenue of country. This reflects the excessive employment opportunities generation possibility from the sector of agriculture. In terms of investing in crops, the sugarcane is the most return on investment generating cultivation as growth of many African states is because of sugar production as most of African countries lie on the list of top sugar producing countries in the world like Kenya is 33rd, Sudan 25th, Tanzania 45th, Uganda 43rd, Kenya 33rd and Ethiopia 25th largest sugar producing countries across the world. These statistics reflect the vast opportunity to invest in the sector of agriculture in Africa.

 

Medium-sized farms are increasing smallholder productivity:

The international trend is that rapid urbanization contributes to the consolidation of land sizes as people abandon rural areas, enabling large-scale, mechanized cultivation. Indeed, in some African countries, there is an increasing class of five-to 100-hectare-sized farms with a growing share of agricultural production. However, given the different stages in the growth of the agricultural sector throughout the continent, this pattern differed greatly from region to region.

Two main groups of farmers are developing in sub-Saharan Africa. One of them is a growing class of emerging farmers who mostly live-in towns, have inherited their land later in life, and are comparatively well educated. Usually, these farmers are now using inputs, have strong access to the market, and can affect the agricultural sector in their countries. However, some farmers often slip into a “missing center” and may have difficulty accessing loans or more specialized resources to fulfill their needs.

Many farmers have land sizes of more than 10 hectares but have failed to obtain adequate funding to purchase all the inputs required to cultivate their plots. Financial firms also deem them too few or too dangerous. Big farms in Nigeria—many of those were bought by individuals looking to invest in agriculture after the collapse in oil prices in 2015—promoted income diversification—struggled to develop the agronomic skills and more sophisticated inputs needed to meet their production capacity.

The Importance of Agriculture

Agriculture has been a correlation with the development of important food crops. At present, agriculture over and beyond agriculture encompasses forestry, dairy production, fruit farming, poultry, botany, mushroom farming, arbitrary farming, etc. Today, the production, selling, and sale of crops and farm goods, etc. are all known as part of the existing agriculture. Agriculture may also be referred to as cultivation, manufacturing, promotion, and sale of agricultural products. Agriculture has a vital role to play in the entire career of a given economy. Agriculture

is the core of the country’s economic structure. To supply food and raw materials, agriculture also offers career opportunities for a very significant number of populations. Since we are talking about agriculture as a focus in Africa, let us look at the importance of agriculture.

Source of living:

Farming is the primary asset of life for many people. Approximately 70% of people depend directly on agriculture as a means of living. The large number of agriculture is the product of little growth of smart non-agricultural activities to absorb the rapidly increasing population. However, the majority of citizens in developing countries are not engaged in agriculture.

Greater opportunities for jobs:

The construction of irrigation systems, the drainage system, and other such practices in the agricultural sector are significant as they provide greater opportunities for jobs. The agriculture sector offers more job opportunities for the labor force, which reduces the high unemployment rate in developed countries induced by the rapidly increasing population.

Development of the economy:

As agriculture employs several people, it boosts the economy. As a result, both the national income level and the quality of life of people are increased. The rapid pace of growth in the agricultural industry provides both a progressive perspective and an improved impetus for development. It also helps to build a good environment for a country’s overall economic

growth. Economic stability thus depends on the rate of growth of the agricultural sector. Agriculture is the primary source of national income for the majority of developed countries. Agriculture contributes less than a percent of the national production to the developing world.

Food supply:

the agriculture sector supplies feed for domestic animals. Cow supplies people with milk, which is full of nutritive food. Also, cattle often meet the nutritional requirements of people. A secure agriculture sector guarantees food security for a country.

Food protection is the key necessity of every government. Food protection avoids malnutrition, which has historically been thought to be one of the big challenges facing developing countries. Most countries including Africa depend on agricultural goods as well as related industries for their key source of income.

Marketable expenditure:

Development in the agriculture sector adds to a marketable surplus. Many citizens are engaged in construction, mines, and other non-agricultural sectors as the nation grows. Many of these individuals depend on food production that they will be necessary to approach from the nation’s marketable expenditure. If the agriculture industry expands, demand rises and this leads to an increase in the marketable surplus. This can be sold to other countries.

Significance for foreign trade:

Agricultural products are the main export commodities of countries like Africa. If there is a smooth agricultural production practice, imports will be minimized while exports will rise tremendously. This aims to reduce the negative balance of payments and to save foreign exchange. This sum could well be used to acquire other important inputs, equipment, raw materials, and other facilities that will continue to sustain the economic growth of the country.

Source of the raw materials and transportation:

Agriculture is the primary source of raw materials for major industries. Many other sectors, such as the cultivation of fruit, cotton and jute, rice, tobacco, edible and non-edible oils, vegetables, and rice, obtain their raw materials mostly from agriculture. Various agricultural goods are moved from farm to factory using railway or road track. In the majority of cases, domestic trade is in agricultural goods. Moreover, the government’s income depends, to a greater degree, on the success of the agriculture sector.

Resources on foreign exchange:

The export market of the nation relies to a large extent on the agriculture sector. For example, major crops such as jute, tobacco, spices, oil-seeds, raw cotton, tea, and coffee account for around 18% of the total value of the country’s exports. This shows that agricultural products appear to be a significant source of income for a foreign exchange country.

Greater opportunities for jobs:

The construction of irrigation systems, the drainage system, and other such practices in the agricultural sector are significant as they provide greater opportunities for jobs. The agriculture sector offers more job opportunities for the labor force, which reduces the high unemployment rate in developed countries induced by the rapidly increasing population.

Development of the economy:

As agriculture employs several people, it boosts the economy. As a result, both the national income level and the quality of life of people are increased. The rapid pace of growth in the agricultural industry provides both a progressive perspective and an improved impetus for development. It also helps to build a good environment for a country’s overall economic growth. Economic stability thus depends on the rate of growth of the agricultural sector.

In conclusion  :

Recently, Africa’s agricultural production, aggregate, and per capita, has increased. But most production growth came from region extension, rather than growth in total factor efficiency or expanded use of modern inputs. As a result, while development has recently increased, sustainability and international competitiveness lag behind. Africa’s problems are substantial and, in some ways, unprecedented in world history, with accelerated economic and social shifts taking place in the framework of globalization and climate change.

There are many ways to a successful turnaround. Mistakes are possible, and lessons have to be learned. Success in export-oriented agriculture, in particular the private sector, has been promising. More effort is required to objectively review experience at the sector and country level and to develop relevant analytical frameworks.

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