There are many problems facing the agricultural industry in Africa – from weather issues to historically political reasons for its struggles – but there are a number of professionals and businesses trying to make farming in Africa a real success story.
Recognizing that ending poverty and hunger in Africa through improved farming techniques can only help the issue on a global stage has only increased the chances of this revival having a very real and lasting effect.
Improving an industry that involves seven out of every ten Africans can only enhance the prospects of the workers while at the same time improving the life chances of everyone. With further investment into training and infrastructure already in the pipeline everyone will see the benefits of such a policy.
Although there has been some high profile foreign investments into farming on a large scale across the continent it has been vitally important to start small and grow. The African Development Bank (AfDB) has recognized this and has spent US$5.5 billion over the past few years to improve the chances of agriculture exceeding expectations in Africa.
Organizations such as the AfDB realize that just throwing money at a problem is not the answer and when it comes to the agriculture industry in Africa it is just as important to spend money on transport links as it is to install irrigation systems to increase farm land’s potential.
Tools for success
Charitable donations are fine but offering access to affordable and sustainable farm products can help the farming industry in Africa by giving the farmers themselves the tools to make a real difference. Individuals such as Jai Shroff, CEO of UPL Limited that supplies these kinds of products to African markets, are markedly boosting the chances of the industry succeeding in its quest to battle the causes of poverty.
Other organizations recognize that it is not enough to just donate money, but to help the African farmers and agricultural leaders of tomorrow by increasing skillsets and forming long lasting relationships. Global Harvest Initiative’s Agricultural Professional Fellowship Program does just that, assisting young South Africans overcome the problems they face – both environmental and political – and make farming a success story.
The bigger picture
With much of Africa’s land not suitable for farming without intense irrigation programs and the use of technological advances, there now seems to be a desire to assist the farmers on the ground. Whether it is through charities or investment it can make agriculture the driving force behind improving the lives of millions across the continent.
Improving feeder roads to make it easier to transport farming products and produce is a vital aspect of changing the outlook for African agriculture for the better. This produce is desperately needed to feed a fast growing population but also to realize the potential for an agribusiness revolution to help all aspects of African life in the coming years.