Challenges for African farming

| Foreign Markets |

Excessive importation of food and inadequate use of the potential of domestic agriculture, which employs 70% of the population – those are the main challenges faced by the African farmers.

Food imports

At present the value of food products imported by African countries is 40 billion USD. Experts believe that the money could be used in a much better manner, for example to develop domestic farming. In 2010, 66 million tonnes of cereals were imported to Africa, while local farmers provided 157 million tonnes. Market specialists stress the importance of achieving self-sufficiency of African farming in 10 years’ time. It would enable the African countries suffering from food shortages to import from their neighbors rather than from other continents.

Budding support for farmers

In 2003, 54 members of the African Union signed a declaration in the capital of Mozambique. The declaration concerns investing 10% of national budgets in the development of agriculture and rural areas. Unfortunately, only a few of those nations (Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Mali) have been lucky to have their governments act on the declaration.

Nigeria may serve as an interesting example. The country has drawn up a system which motivates to invest in agriculture. Central government shares the loan risk with the agricultural producers. The purpose is to encourage the banks to provide advantageous loans serving agricultural progress and development.

Eliminating famine and poverty

Those are the key aims of African countries. Taking into consideration the fact that 70% of the continent population works in agriculture, promoting farming as the driving force of economic growth is a burning necessity. The chief issue is looking for innovative financial tools serving individual farmers as well as attracting investors who might boost the efficiency of African farming.