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Sat. Oct 19th, 2019

Africa Alliance for Health, Research and Economic Development

For social and economic wellbeing of communities

What is at stake for agriculture in Africa?

2 min read

Family farms in the African context will be higher and job creation maximised per unit area, provided that they access proper financing. We also recognise that some small farms will be unable to generate income for all active members of the family assets and will be forced to exit the agricultural industry which require accompanying measures.

Economic challenges: reducing poverty by promoting inclusive growth. More than half of all people living in Africa depend on agriculture for all or part of their livelihood. Based on this premise, fostering sustainable agricultural growth means working to boost income and to generally improve the living conditions of one in two Africans, the majority of whom are poor. Promoting agricultural growth also spurs economic development in upstream and downstream sub-sectors. There is also considerable job-creation potential. However, there are varying labour requirements for the different forms of agriculture. Industrial agriculture, besides the issues it raises in terms of efficiency in the use of resources, clearly creates fewer jobs than modern family farming. In Africa, both models need to be integrated and balanced.

aahred-open field agriculture

Human challenges: reducing food and nutrition insecurity. Although agricultural development alone is unable to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, it is an obligatory, essential and priority element. Protecting rural activity systems is a determining factor. This will occur either by securing land access — in particular for women and young people; by controlling and minimising agricultural risks; by diversifying agricultural activity systems and sources of income (encouraging rural “multi-activity”); or by improving the structuring and regulation of markets.

Environmental challenges: promoting sustainable management of natural resources The challenge in coming years is to accelerate growth in production and productivity, by controlling its impact on the environment and natural resources such as land, water and energy, and to foster the adaptability of farming systems to climate change.

Political challenges: reaffirming sovereignty, and contributing to stability, security and Africa’s international standing Within the context of structural tensions in global food markets, Africa, with its considerable and under-exploited agricultural potential, has a strong case to put forward on the international geopolitical stage. The continent as a whole can at least satisfy most of its demand if it manages to exploit its internal complementary. Harnessing the potential: The economic situation of African States is now conducive to proactive policies. National income has more than tripled in less than 10 years. State income accounted for 85% of Africa’s sources of financing by the end of the 2000s.

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