Africa's Agricultural Potential
The average African farm performs at only about 40% of its potential. And on present trends the continent will only produce 13% of its food needs by 2050. Yet African agriculture also has the greatest promise: a growing population, vibrant markets and half the world's uncultivated arable land.
So how can these farms rise to their potential to address hunger and malnutrition while boosting livelihoods and promoting inclusive growth? 80% of all Africa's farms are small plots yet contribute as much as 80% of food production. It's not pity and handouts that are needed. It is access to markets and finance, land tenure security, knowledge and technology, and the right policies.
Highlight the areas of interest to view the challenges African agriculture faces, and the potential that can be unlocked.
its agricultural potential...
Yet Africa has almost 50% of the world's uncultivated land.
ResourcesCASE STUDY: Re-Greening the Sahel (IFPRI)
REPORT: Seeking Fertile Soil for a Green Revolution in Africa (PDF) (AGRA)
CASE STUDY: Promoting 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Africa (IPNI)
VIDEO: Nourishing Soil and Stability: A Farming Revolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (IFDC)
VIDEO: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (World Vision)
CASE STUDY: Fertilizer Microdosing on Degraded Soils in Sub-Saharan Africa (IFA)
1 kg of fertilizer can triple yields and no-till practices could increase maize yields as much as 100% in sub-Saharan Africa.
ResourcesCAMPAIGN: Smallholders Access to Fertilizers (IFA)
CASE STUDY: Honde Valley Banana Case Study - Zimbabwe (Fintrac)
PHOTO: Proud farmer in her maize field - Zimbabwe (Fintrac)
VIDEO: Cocoa Farmer Case Study: Cecilia (CropLife)
VIDEO: The Last Hunger Season - One Acre Fund's Disruptive Thinking (One Acre Fund)
ESSAY: Adopting a Scalable Operating Model Tailored to African Smallholders (One Acre Fund)
REPORT: "On Trial: Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa" (PDF) (Chatham House)
Irrigation alone could increase output by up to 50% in Africa.
Upgrading sub-Saharan Africa's roads could boost yearly trade by US$250 billion, yet cost only US$38 billion a year.
African consumer spending could reach US$1.4 trillion by 2020, and to double in a decade.
ResourcesREPORT: Leaping & Learning: Linking Smallholders to Markets (Ag4Impact)
REPORT: 8 Views for the G8: Business Solutions for African Smallholder Farmers (Ag4Impact)
VIDEO: Qashing In - The Follow Up (IFAD)
VIDEO: Burkina Faso: Farming Futures (IFAD)
BRIEF: Economic Partnership Agreements and African Regional Integration (PDF) (IPC)
BLOG: Farming as a Business (Self Help Africa)
BLOG: Gender in Agriculture: Identifying the Monicas (Heartland Global)
CASE STUDIES: Generating income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities (TechnoServe)
CASE STUDY: Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (CNFA)
CASE STUDY: Malawi Agricultural Partnership (ProRustica)
Investment in extension yields 80% annual rates of return - almost double the norm.
ResourcesCASE STUDIES: Extension Services (PDF) (GFRAS)
REPORT: Gender Equality in Rural Advisory Services (PDF) (GFRAS)
VIDEO: Training Centers Helping Farmers Achieve Food Security - Kenya (Fintrac)
CASE STUDY: Trainings Inspire Oil Processors to Join Forces - Ethiopia (Fintrac)
PAPER: Knowledge, Skills and Talent Development in the Agri-Food Sector (PDF) (IAFN)
CASE STUDY: Transforming Agriculture through the Lead Farmer Model (Fintrac)
VIDEO: Cocoa in West Africa – Mini Documentary (CropLife)
VIDEO: Zanzibar: Back to (Farmer Field) School (IFAD)
Public investments in research and extension have a rate of return of 35-70%.
ResourcesREPORT: Africa's Agricultural Research Pool (ASTI)
REPORT: Agricultural R&D: Investing in Africa's Future (ASTI)
REPORT: Strengthening International Science for the Benefit of Society – Africa (PDF) (ICSU)
PAPER: Global Climate Change & Smallholder Farmers - Global (PDF) (Fintrac)
CASE STUDIES: African Agricultural Technology Foundation
REPORT: Innovation for Sustainable Intensifcation in Africa (Ag4Impact)
VIDEO: Kenya Cookstove Trials (One Acre Fund)
Land registration in Ghana increased land-related revenue 11 times over from 2003 to 2010. Land reform in Malawi has raised agricultural incomes by 40% each year.
ResourcesRESOURCE: Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (FAO)
REPORT: Securing Africa's Land for Shared Prosperity (World Bank)
RESOURCE: Land Tenure Security and Poverty Alleviation (IFAD)
GDP growth due to agriculture has been estimated to be 11 times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other African sector.
Improved nutrition could boost African GDP by 11%.
ResourcesPHOTO: Helping Hands - Tanzania (Fintrac)
PHOTO: Women Farmers with Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato - Kenya (Fintrac)
POLICY BRIEF: Can We Feed the World? (Ag4Impact)
VIDEO: Africa Biofortified Sorghum Project (AfricaHarvest)
VIDEO: The Price we Pay for Unsafe Food (Twin)
REPORT: Scaling up Nutrition (Ag4Impact)
REPORT: Nutrition Position Paper (PDF) (IAFN)
Each year at least 10 million young people in Africa enter the labour force, more than ever before.
ResourcesREPORT: Small and Growing: Entrepreneurship in African Agriculture (Ag4Impact)
VIDEO: Young African Plant Scientists at Makare University, Uganda (Ag4Impact)
REPORT: Youth and Agriculture: Key Challenges and Concrete Solutions (CTA)
CASE STUDIES: Young Professionals in Agricultural Development (YPARD)
REPORT: African Youth Fulfilling the Potential (Mo Ibrahim Foundation)
PHOTO ESSAY: Developing Agropreneurs - Empowering Youth in Agriculture - Kenya (Fintrac)
Intensification is expected to produce 80% of the required increase in African food production.
ResourcesREPORT: Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture (Ag4Impact)
VIDEO: Agriculture Under Pressure (ISF)
INFOGRAPHIC: Agriculture and the Green Economy (Farming First)
CASE STUDIES: Food Security (WFO)
CASE STUDY: Post-Harvest Interventions (PanAAC)
REPORT: Africa Needs a Green Revolution (Africa Progress Panel)
VIDEO: Mutema Banana Production - Zimbabwe (Fintrac)
Mobile banking in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia sees 1.2 million transactions per month, worth approximately US$11 million.
ResourcesPHOTO: Walter Matsikira with his Newly Purchased Pigs - Zimbabwe (Fintrac)
CASE STUDIES: West Africa and East Africa (Root Capital)
CASE STUDY: Bringing Microfinance to Rural Zambia (iDE)
BLOG: What to Read on Agriculture Microfinance (One Acre Fund)
BLOG: Asset-based Financing and Flexible Repayment to Better Serve Africa's Smallholder Farmers (One Acre Fund)
VIDEO: Agricultural Finance in Mozambique (AgDevCo)
With the right investments, Africa's food and beverage markets could be worth US$1 trillion by 2030.
ResourcesPAPER: Trade and Development Policy with Sub-Saharan Africa (IPC)
REPORT: Regional Integration: Uniting to Compete (PDF) (Mo Ibrahim Foundation)
VIDEO: São Tomé: Saved by Chocolate (IFAD)
VIDEO: Ghana: Buttering Up (IFAD)
CASE STUDY: Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Feed the Future)
CASE STUDY: Building a platform for sustainable passion fruit production (Fintrac)
CASE STUDY: Modernisation of Agriculture in the South Sudan Green Belt Area (PDF) (AECF)
CASE STUDY: Biolands – Changing Cocoa Farming (AECF)
CASE STUDY: High-Value Horticulture - Zimbabwe (Fintrac)
Ghana, which currently spends around 10% of its national budget on agriculture, has succeeded in halving hunger.
ResourcesREPORT: Grains, Fish, Money (Africa Progress Panel)
REPORT: Growth with Resilience: Opportunities for African Agriculture (Ag4Impact)
REPORT: Boosting African Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology (PDF) (PanAAC)
PHOTO-INFOGRAPHICS: Resilience in Action (Farming First/IFPRI)
REPORT: Highlighting the Successes of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (PDF) (CAADP)
CASE STUDY: Harmonised Seed Security Project (PDF) (FANRPAN)
Closing this gender gap could reduce the number of malnourished people by 12-17%
ResourcesRESOURCE LIBRARY: African Women in Agricultural Research for Development (AWARD)
REPORT: Women in African Agriculture (Ag4Impact)
VIDEO: Women Accessing Realigned Markets (FANRPAN)
VIDEO: In the Words of Family Farmers: The Gambia (IFAD)
CASE STUDY: Rural women's economic empowerment (Farm Africa)
INFOGRAPHIC: The Female Face of Farming (Farming First/FAO)
INFOGRAPHIC: Infographic: Women's Day 2014 - Global (Fintrac)