“The earth does not lie”. This is an adage often used in Africa to say how the earth knows how to give back what you give it, and reality confirms it. Investing in agriculture in Africa is the number one job generating activity in the continent. The amount of unexploited land and the mainly family nature of the crops grown there give free rein to large-scale projects that will benefit from being implemented there. We would go from nourishing agriculture to industrial agriculture, which could easily lead to transformation. But again, with the evolution of the African middle class, which is more or less attached to the land and largely sedentary, the local transformation of the products of the land would go in the direction of the identity withdrawal observable in recent years and could easily obtain the adhesion of the latter, whose purchasing power, at the local level, continues to climb.
Agriculture, one of the sectors with the highest potential in Africa
According to a survey by Havas Horizons (2017), agriculture is one of the sectors with the highest potential in Africa by 2022. The activity occupies the second position behind the energy sector. In one year (between 2016 and 2017) the sector has seen a good of nearly 60 points in the polls, according to investor votes. The elements that still create uncertainty in the sector are its greatest sources of opportunity.
Although the current agricultural model of Africa in general is based on family farms (up to 60% of jobs in Africa), it will probably be necessary to succeed in ensuring the transition to a hybrid or industrialized model while finding solutions. to overcome climatic uncertainties and continue to ensure food security.
In this spirit, 2 investment possibilities could respond to the “call” of the sector in a relevant way: industrialization and transformation.
Invest in the industrialization of agriculture in Africa
The industrialization of agriculture is presented as one of the major solutions to boost the growth of agriculture in Africa. The mechanization of related activities would ensure a better output, by reducing the brake represented by human fatigue, while accelerating the processes, in particular those of harvest.
Although humans still have their place in agriculture in Africa as elsewhere, investing in an industrial project concerning them would be totally appropriate. As the amount of the investment can be particularly large, it is essential to develop a project that clearly corresponds to the realities of the host land (sociological, economic, environmental and even legal benchmarks) and which nevertheless remains profitable.
Industrialized agricultural projects are not plentiful, and the available arable land is plentiful. Do you have a good plan? Try to convince investors and get started, because in addition, many agricultural products that could be supplied locally are imported, due to the lack of local processing.
Invest in the transformation of agricultural products in Africa
Although the local culture is oriented towards the direct consumption of the products of the land, the transformation of these is an option that must absolutely be explored, in order to give them even more value.
The transformation of agricultural products goes well with the industrialization of agriculture and is a good opportunity to explore for investment. Today, taro, which grows naturally in Africa, is sold as crisps, especially in Turkey. Locally, the most popular items are plantain chips, spreads, and natural fruit juices. The cases of industrial and continuous processing are an exception, like the TANTY brand in Cameroon or a few large international groups that use the nuts of the oil palm to develop various products, including refined oils or soap.
In West Africa in particular, associations are organizing to process agricultural products, but distribution seems to remain very localized.
The opportunity for processing agricultural products remains to be seized. The multiple possibilities offered by certain products such as cassava (the rind of which is even used today for making donuts and other pastries, or porridge) are only just beginning to be explored, and local production is not satisfying. still the absorption potential of the African market. There is definitely no reason to hesitate.
These are two “major projects” from which you can do well if you want to invest in Africa. Industrialization has revolutionized many countries, and with agriculture which literally allows at least 60% of the African population to have a job, without however fully meeting the absorption capacity of this market, future industrialists could literally bring a real revolution to the continent as long as they have flair and respect social, legal and above all environmental conditions, the latter being the guarantors of the quality and fertility of African soil which is still little exploited.