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‘We need more productive farming’

FILE: OFFICERS from the Zambia National Service prepare their stand in readiness for the Copperbelt Mining, Agriculture and Commercial Show in Kitwe. PICTURE: NKOMBO KACHEMBA

A DELIBERATE shift from basic subsistence agriculture prevalent in Africa to more productive farming business operations is vital in driving inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector.
According to the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) 2016 report on ‘Unleashing Africa’s Agricultural Entrepreneurs’, in 2006, the dawn of Africa’s ‘green revolution’, a substantial international, multi-stakeholder effort to improve the prospects of the agriculture sector, was initiated.
“Now, nearly a decade later, the entrepreneurial energy and innovation in agriculture emerging from the ground up is changing the perception of the market and further influencing policy, capital flows, and the level of interest in Africa’s vast, untapped potential to feed itself, and the world,” the report reads in part.
Further, the report says agriculture accounts for 32 per cent of Africa’s domestic product (GDP), and employs over 65 percent of its labour force.
Research has shown that increased and sustained investment in agriculture greatly enhances productivity and reduces hunger, inequality and food insecurity.
It is for this and other reasons that the sector offers the highest potential for sustainable and scalable socio-economic transformation as growth in agriculture GDP results in a significant increase in income for the lowest income segment of the population employed by the sector.
According to the research conducted by the TEF, agriculture is rapidly becoming a hot-bed for entrepreneurs with new ideas for higher quality products and advanced processes, integrated supply chains, and lucrative business opportunities, among others.
TEF believes that investments to modernise the agriculture and agro-allied sectors on the continent will, in addition to transforming the lives of some of Africa’s poorest, strengthen the continent’s capacity to absorb the young entrepreneurs entering the work force in millions.

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