Agriculture in Africa 2019: special report

While Africa holds more than 60% of the world’s arable land, the continent’s share in global agricultural production remains low. Vast areas of land are uncultivated and productivity is lower than in much of the rest of the world. Nevertheless, farming is key for the majority of African economies and accounts for at least 15% of the region’s GDP. In addition, around two-thirds of the African population is employed within the sector, the vast majority working on small-scale farms that currently produce around 90% of all output. Chronic long-term underinvestment and poor governance have resulted in a sector that has been unable to play a positive role in transforming the region’s economies, either by ensuring food security, creating jobs or reducing poverty. African agricultural productivity growth is about half that seen in other developing nations. Modest yields result, to a large extent, from the low use of fertilisers and improved seed strains, coupled with a lack of mechanisation and irrigation, and the impact of climate change.

Related Content