Agricultural business portfolio in Africa is expected to hit$1 trillion by 2030, leaders of the top agric business companies on the company have predicted.
The projection emanated from the Africa Investment Forum holding in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lenders, borrowers, investors and project sponsors attended the forum.
According to the leaders of Agribusiness in Africa, agriculture would become the ‘new oil” on the continent, fueling the motor of inclusive growth..
“Agriculture is a key priority for the African Development Bank,through our Feed Africa strategy,” said Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank vice president for agriculture, human and social development.
According to her, by transforming Africa’s agriculture sector, it will become the engine that drives Africa’s economic transformation through increased income, better jobs higher on the value chain, improved nutrition, and so on, she said in her opening remarks at an Africa Investment Forum session titled, ‘”Agribusiness: investmentconversation with industry leaders”.
Some agribusiness leaders said there was a need to invest US$45 billion per year to harness the power of agriculture and move up the value chain to create jobs and wealth. At present, only US$7 billion is invested in the sector.
Organisers of the forum in a press statement said Investments from the private sector, will create the adequate environment and enhance the emergence of locally owned agro-processing industries, capable of creating jobs and increasing incomes in rural Africa.
The statement said the continent could become a net exporter of agricultural commodities, replacing US$110 billion worth of imports, as well as doubling its share of market value for select processed commodities.
The full-capacity session was a highlight of the Africa Investment Forum, organised by the African Development Bank. The event brought
representatives from multilateral financial institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, government officials and private investors to
Johannesburg, South Africa for three days.
Participants in the agribusiness session discussed the industry’s entire value chain. Leading the ‘fireside chat’ was a round table of experts that included Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of the Dangote Group; Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance of Nigeria; William
Asiko, CEO, Grow Africa; John George Coumantaros, Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria and TP Nchocho, CEO, Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa
“We need to do the research to produce the right solutions to the issues we might face along the value chain. Youth are particularly involved in this aspect as they know how to develop tools addressing issues such as water management and release”, said Aliko Dangote.
Agribusiness can also promote industrialisation and urban employment, break the ‘productivity gap’ of development, and improve the quality
of life for all Africans. Attendees said Africa’s agricultural potential needs to be unlocked.