Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2013–A new World Bank report “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” says that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods. 

The report calls on governments to work side-by-side with agribusinesses, to link farmers with consumers in an increasingly urbanized Africa.
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“The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”
The report pursues several lines of analysis. 
  1. First, it synthesizes the large body of work on agriculture and agribusiness in Africa. 
  2. Second, it builds on a diagnosis of specific value chains. As part of this effort, the value chain for Africa's largest and fastest-growing food import, rice, is benchmarked in Senegal and Ghana against Thailand's rice value chain. 
  3. Third, 170 agribusiness investments by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) in Africa and Southeast Asia are analyzed to gain perspective on the elements of success and failure. 
  4. Fourth, the report synthesizes perspectives from the private sector through interviews with 23 leading agribusiness investors and a number of other key informants. In conclusion, the report offers practical policy advice based on the experience of countries from within and outside Africa. 
The huge diversity of Africa's agro-ecological, market, and business environments, however, necessarily means that each country (and indeed regions within countries) will need to adapt the broad guidance provided here to the local context.

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