Implications for small holders in Africa
I read this article by David Hughes in This is Africa and I found it interesting enough to share. It has some rather encouraging information for small holder farmers…
- Over the next 40 years it is expected that the global population will increase by 2 billion, Africa will double from 1 billion to 2 billion.This growth should create substantial local and regional marketing opportunities for African farmers and this will include small holders, but only if certain conditions are met. These conditions include better roads, transport and post-harvest infrastructure, regional trade agreements within Africa being forged and if trade between African countries is encouraged and not constrained.
- Given the governments track record on its ability to provide an enabling environment, the jury is out on whether this populations growth will offer exceptional food marketing opportunities for farmers or translate into massive social problems in the overgrown cities and rural areas abandoned by young adults.
- FACT: It’s easier to ship produce to Europe or the Gulf than it is to move it within the continent.
- Slowly and painfully, the structure of farming and wholesaling will rationalise as in all other parts of the globe, with or without government facilitator.
- The increasing number of supermarkets will accelerate the transformation of supply chains, in particular, fresh food as they seek greater quantities of consistent quality produce. For small holder farmers (2 ha or less) who represent 80% of all farms, to meet this need they will require help in terms of access to credit, technology, finance, training etc.
- Small Holders must work collaboratively with modern wholesalers to meet big buyers requirements.Small holders are disadvantaged but not doomed and will find opportunities where they can maximise their intrinsic advantage.
- Within Africa the processed food industry will grow quickly and prove a reliable market outlet for large and small-scale producers. Extra-regional markets will also continue to offer good prospects for African farmers.
- Fresh fruit and vegetable destined for developed countries and increasingly, the fast growing middle classes of emerging countries will most likely be captured by larger scale farming enterprises with opportunities for ‘outgrowers’ supplementing nucleus estate production.
- Global companies on the continent like Nestle, Unilever, Mars, Kraft etc share common commercial interest with small-scale farmers in working together to improve quality, quantity and farm level prices to ensure that the raw materials are available in years to come. Global food and beverage companies forging closer partnerships with small-scale African farmers seem most unlikely but, in fact is the emerging model for the coming decade.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂