Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, discusses the potential of agro-industrial development and asserts that the future of Africa depends on agriculture.
Agriculture, which contributes 16.2 per cent of the GDP of Africa, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies. No region of the world has moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. The reason is simple. Agriculture provides the basic raw materials needed for industrial development. Food accounts for the highest share of the consumer price index; cheap food restrains inflation. When inflation is low, interest rates decline and private sector investments increase. A more productive, efficient and competitive agriculture sector boosts economies in the rural areas where the majority of the African population live. A more prosperous rural economy will create jobs and accelerate rural savings, stimulating more inclusive growth. In short, the future of Africa depends on agriculture.
Africa’s agriculture sector
The performance of the sector has historically been low. Cereal yields fall significantly below the global average. Use of modern farm inputs, including improved seeds, mechanisation and irrigation, is severely limited. The sector is still dominated by subsistence farmers; it suffers from low levels of public investment and limited access to finance…
Dr Akinwumi Adesina
President of the African Development Bank