Whether for profit or social motives - and often both - an increasing number of investors are targeting opportunities in African agriculture. At the same time innovative approaches for deploying aid to support farming businesses linked to smallholders are emerging. This blog provides a snapshot of who is doing what, where and how.

3 November 2010

Africa's farming sector is ripe with business opportunities

"Young people who will be future policymakers and leaders should see agriculture as a business opportunity and not simply a means of survival" - by Namanga Ngongi, president of Agra.

It is widely accepted that agricultural growth and increases in farm productivity are prerequisites to broad-based sustained economic growth and development. Yet, when it comes to Africa, this connection is just beginning to be made by the development community as well as many African governments. Smallholder agriculture and the back breaking work of millions of African farmers have been taken for granted – viewed as an accepted way of life that they embrace. Support comes mostly in the form of charity, not investment.

In Africa, you are born a farmer; you don't become one. At least, that's been the perception. But young people who will be the future policymakers and business leaders of tomorrow need to view agriculture as more than something that is done solely out of necessity and associated with the stigma of poverty and lack of education. We must make them see that Africa's farming sector is ripe with business opportunities.

Read the full article at The Guardian