African Agriculture: Labour, Value Chain & Leadership

The African continent has one of the most fertile lands for agriculture in the world, with over 50 per cent
of its people engaged in that sector and constituting the biggest share of its gross domestic product.

The pertinent questions to ask now are: how can political leadership inspire home-grown solutions to
Africa’s agriculture challenges? And how can enough linkages be forged to ensure better partnership
between political leadership and the various players in the value chain in the industry? A number of
countries on the continent have chalked some level of success on this quest riding on the back of
technological advancement and enhancement in regulations.

However – in all of these countries an effective political leadership has been key. Africa’s leaders have developed various documents to achieve these set objectives such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). These documents mandate signatory countries to transform their agricultural sectors within a stated period of time.

This implies developing the agricultural sector to improve the living condition of people, drastically
reducing poverty and creating employment to position countries to achieve real economic growth.
However – a lot of work still needs to be done to ensure a transformation that cuts across the length and
breadth of the continent.

What has been achieved already needs to be improved significantly. Food production in Africa has been very low for some decades now averaging 1.5 tonnes per hectare compared to an average of 4 tonnes in Asia. In addition, there is limited capacity for value added production for the industrial transformation of agribusiness in Africa.

It’s important to open conversations focused on helping African country leaders to address these pertinent issues. The way forward would include:

  1. Setting the agenda
  2. Engaging the political economy
  3. Appointing Intervention Champions
  4. Identifying Value Chains
  5. Deploying data

Join the conversation! At lesego.org, we engage critical issues about the African continent especially in the areas of Agriculture and leadership. We lend a voice to advocacy for rural farmers in South Africa and the African continent as a whole. Get a free guide to establishing cooperatives for Agripreneurs. You can help raise awareness by sharing this post and joining the conversation by leaving a comment. Thank you!

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