Agra Forum has called on African countries to massively invest in agribusiness sector as it is the key to transforming African economies.
The Forum also believes that realising the continent’s full agricultural and food potential will require improved policies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) rather than pursuing a donor approach.
African governments and development agencies are prioritising agriculture to recapture the Africa Rising narrative after the mid-2014 oil price shock.
This was the core message at the 2019 Agra Forum in Accra, Ghana and a constant topic of discussion during the African Agri Council (AAC) held recently.
The new narrative includes promoting the continent as a business and investment destination with a clear emphasis on ‘returns outweigh the risks’.
According to a recent Mckinsey report, sub-Saharan Africa will need eight times more fertiliser, six times more improved seed, at least $8bn of investment in basic storage (not including cold-chain investments for horticulture or animal products), and as much as $65 billion in irrigation to fulfil the industry promise. Further investment will be needed in basic infrastructure, such as roads, ports, and energy, plus improvements in regional trade flows.
“The report highlights an attractive landscape for investors, agribusinesses as well as highly innovative African and international start-ups to stimulate growth in the sector.
“We need to create an environment for governments, agribusinesses, investors, financial institutions, development financial institutions (DFIs), donors, tax experts, consultants, technology innovators, machinery suppliers as well as seed and fertilizer manufacturers to explore bankable projects, opportunities and conduct the business of food and agriculture, hence the development of the African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII), “said Ben Leyka, CEO of African Agri Council.
African Agri Council (AAC) has hosted the African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII) to bring top executives, financiers, investors, project owners and policymakers together to discuss trends that influence food and agribusiness economics and investment landscape over the next decade in Africa.