A new report on African agriculture and the solutions for adapting it to the major challenges of tomorrow has just been published. Produced by the economic intelligence and consulting firm Oxford Business Group (OBG), the report entitled “Agriculture in Africa 2022”is produced in collaboration with the OCP Group.
According to the World Bank, the world population is expected to double by 2050 and food demand is expected to grow by 55% by 2030. The challenge of food security is therefore high in Africa, where 85% of food is still currently imported, according to data published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
If the African continent is known for its agricultural sector which is expanding the fastest in the world, posting an average annual growth of 4.3% since the year 2000, the development of the numerous uncultivated arable lands will not be enough to meet to the growing demand for food, raises the report of OBG and OCP.
Thus, OBG’s targeted report explores the various avenues and concrete solutions available to meet the food needs of the population, while including the sector in sustainable development adapted to climate change.
According to the report, the increase in production will not be possible without an increase in productivity, hence the need to use circular economy practices, such as the conversion of organic waste into productive inputs, the recycling of water, or agricultural practices adapted to climate change, recommends the report.
The report highlights that boosting productivity and increasing incomes for smallholders, who produce 80% of food in sub-Saharan Africa, requires greater use of renewable energy-powered technologies and increased support for the institutions that deliver them. generate, in particular research, development and engineering systems, deploring the lack of funding currently available for these ecosystems. But he notes that increasing productivity also goes in the direction of preserving ecosystems and biodiversity.
The study also exposes that while Africa has the potential to feed the world’s population in the years to come, the land must be used sustainably by also addressing issues such as deforestation and inefficient use of fertilizers to to accomplish this.
This would require, according to the report, the adoption of a green economic model, which is characterized by low carbon emissions, efficient use of resources and social inclusion.
For the preparation of this report, the OBG and the OCP carried out interviews with four renowned experts, in particular Hanane Mourchid, Executive Director for Sustainability and Green Industrial Development of the OCP Group, who provided food for thought on how the circular economy and sustainability policies will help address the challenges facing agriculture in Africa.
In addition, she explains the importance for companies to implement sustainability policies and how the private sector and universities can cooperate in order to implement smart agricultural practices.
In addition, Tony Siantonas, Director, Scaling Positive Agriculture, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), presents solutions to strengthen sustainability and food security, emphasizing in particular the importance of preserving soil health and need for long-term investments and innovations.
For his part, Kaushik Majumdar, Director-General, African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI), advocates smart and calibrated plant nutrition to counter the harmful effects of climate change and discusses the key role of public-private partnerships in R&D and development. knowledge transfer in the agricultural sector in Africa. Finally, Hicham El Habti, President of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), explains how technology and innovation can concretely help farmers.
Thus, Karine Loehman, Director General of OBG for Africa, welcomed the publication of this comprehensive report. ” A range of solutions exist to enable African agriculture to adapt to food, economic and climate challenges. There is an urgent need to invest in human capital so that people can fully reap the benefits of technological advances and the innovative and dynamic financing instruments that exist today. “, she said.
This report on agriculture in Africa is part of a series of bespoke studies that OBG is currently producing with its partners, including reports specific to environmental, social and governance criteria and Future Readiness Reports as well as other essential research tools, such as country-specific growth and recovery outlook articles and interviews.