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The Future of Agriculture in Africa

Author: Julius Gatune Kariuki
Organisation: The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
Publish Date: August 2011
Country: Africa
Sector: Agriculture
Method: Foresight
Theme: Futures
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Agriculture, food security, food insecurity

While agriculture remains central to Africa’s economies, its global performance in this sector has lagged. Africa remains a net food importer and continues to suffer from recurrent hunger epidemics. The relatively low rate of African agricultural productivity is caused by many factors, including low levels of technology and land utilization. These factors are compounded by a weak policy environment and land tenure and use issues, as well as problems with post-harvest handling, such as infrastructure weakness, storage, and marketing/transformation issues. But the future of Africa’s agriculture is bound to be different, influenced by a host of new drivers including changing demographics and perceptions of agriculture, climate change, growing fear of global food insecurity, and technology innovations. A number of responses have already emerged as a result, indicating new directions: a concerted effort towards green revolution; Africa as a potential solution to future global food crises; increasing interest in African agriculture from the emerging global South; a search for new farming models; and an emerging agro processing industry. These developments are likely to transform African agriculture and indeed Africa itself— though this transformation will depend on the policy environment that arises in response to these new drivers
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