Written by Godfrey Lvudria
Published on 10th February 2021
Agribusiness investment is currently the most exciting venture for Africa. Africa’s food import bill-estimated by the African Development Bank annually at $43 billion in 2019, should both be a source of worry and energise the continent into self-sustenance.
Food imports create dependency and outflow of much needed foreign exchange. These food imports do not mean the continent’s land is unproductive, but rather a combination of factors including limited intra-continental trade and entrepreneurs’ inability to see agribusiness as a goldmine.
Did you know that several foreign companies and governments are buying and leasing chunks of African land purposely to tap into agricultural opportunities?
By the United Nations’ projection, Africa’s agribusiness industry will be worth $1billion trillion by 2030.
And here is still some more good news for the sector and continent. Do you know that under the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA), which became operational on January 1, intracontinental trade is expected to grow and reduce some said imports?
Who will grow or trade to substitute those imports? You and I have the same opportunities to benefit from AfCFTA and make Africa great. That is why annual Human Capital International’s annual Strategic Leaders’ Summit will focus on how SMEs and agribusinesses can tap into the opportunities provided by AfCFTA.
Under the theme: ‘Transformation of Agribusiness and SMEs in the digital economy under AfCFTA’, HCI’s Strategic Leaders’ Summit, known for its thoughtful deliberations, will centre on providing solutions to the continent’s most pressing agribusiness and SMEs challenges.
As we draw close to February 25 when the virtual Summit will be held, here are some of the top reasons you should invest in agribusiness.
Africa still has abundant land.
If there is anything that abounds on the continent, it is land. The World Bank estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 200million hectares of arable land, translating into nearly 50 per cent of the world’s total.
Fortunately, according to the UN African renewal 2014 report, Africa has plenty of cheap lands, labour, and a climate conducive for high crop yields. For instance, according to the said report, only 12 per cent of arable land in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia is being utilised.
That means Africa can become the world’s food basket and halt food imports siphoning wealth out of the continent. This will only happen if you and I invest adequately in the sector.
Africa has the fastest-growing population in the world and is expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2050. Now and in the future, Africa will always need to feed. And with the launch of AFCTA, intra-trade is expected to grow, further expanding the markets.
According to the Harvard Business Review, food demand will increase from 59 per cent to 98 per cent by 2050. It is Africa with the world’s most significant arable land that will feed the world, and you should be a player in this equation.
It is cheap and does not require a lot of skills!
Starting an agribusiness is not as sophisticated as many other businesses. It is relatively cheaper than other companies that require thousands or millions of dollars to acquire capital equipment and high skilled labour to start.
Whether you own one acre of land or more, you can start an agribusiness and expand it with time. And because many people depend on the sector, it is the easiest way to get the continent out of its current poverty trap.
According to the United Nations 2018, Agriculture will continue to generate employment in Africa over the coming decades. Agribusiness segments along the value chain such as farming, processing, packaging, transportation, distribution, marketing, and financial services are expected to be the continent’s biggest employers.
Mark February 25 on your calendar. Join this all-important virtual Strategic Leaders’ Summit to learn more about the opportunities that exist within the AfCFTA for you as a fledgeling or seasoned entrepreneur as you follow this link https://humancapitalinternational.org/leadershipsummit/