Can Africa Adapt to Changing Demands
By admin July 15, 2014

The consulting firm Ernst and Young estimated that “from 2000 to 2009, Africa had the highest number of economies growing above 7% per annum of any continent in the world”. One of the main drivers of this success story has been the improved productivity of many country’s agricultural sectors. In numerous African countries agriculture plays an outsized role in their economies. Especially in Eastern Africa, countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia have agriculture sectors contributing over 30% to GDP. However, the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014 report, which was recently released, suggests that global agricultural needs are shifting towards diets that are higher in protein, fats, and sugars and away from the traditional cereal and grains. This shift in diet could hamper efforts by African countries in their hopes of becoming net exporters of agricultural products.

Over the next decade meat consumption is expected to increase by 1.6 percent a year. The report explains, “expansion of the livestock sector alters the demand for crops like course grains and oilseeds, which can be used to feed livestock, away from staple food crops such as wheat and rice.” The challenge then becomes ensuring that African countries not only continue to improve agricultural productivity but that they are aligning their agricultural output with expected global demand.

Over the past decade there have been numerous initiatives working towards improving agricultural production. For example, Grow Africa is a partnership platform seeking to accelerate investments and transformative change in African Agriculture through the identification and improvement of high value chains. Working with over eight different African countries, their efforts will ultimately lead to further advancements in such crops as Sesame, Chickpea and Barley in Ethiopia, and textured Soy Protein and pigeon pea production in Malawi. Investments like these can continue to help Africa grow but countries must make adjustments now to stay on top of changing global demand.



“Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).” The New Partnership for Africa’s Development. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2014. <>.

“Grow Africa.” Grow Africa Home Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2014. <>.

Hume, Neil. “Demand growth for agricultural products to slow –” Financial Times. N.p., 11 June 2014. Web. 14 July 2014. <>.

“OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook.” 2014. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2014. <>.

Terazono, Emiko. “Tight markets make beef a luxury –” Financial Times. N.p., 13 Dec. 2014. Web. 14 July 2014. <>


Thanks for sharing !

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