Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Promoting rural agriculture in Africa and accelerating the transformation challenge

15.09.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
Like everywhere else, agriculture occupies a place of choice in Africa in the inclusive growth and sustainable development. While in developed countries it is much more like intensive agriculture contributing to large-scale production, on the other hand it can be seen in the African continent that it is still defined by the basis of rudimentary and traditional means and techniques. In contrast to the urban environment, where every day ready-to-use businesses and the transformation of the economy flourish a little more, the African rural sector in need of any industrial investment, carries a whole inheritance linked to agriculture 'Transmits from generation to generation. While some thought that the development deficit in Africa is inseparable from the future of rural areas, several others thought that the promotion of rural areas would be a suitable solution to improve the overall image of the continent that is going through a food crisis.

Unprecedented, to do this is to stimulate growth and diversification, as a result of the intensification of rural agriculture it would be necessary to combine with on-site industrial activities such as processing of products.

To accelerate agricultural transformation in Africa, many research projects based on results have emerged. Among the most prominent are the African Union’s Malabo Declaration and Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Live hoods and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). These projects, aimed at stemming “village decline”, should eventually help to improve rural productivity which, despite significant progress in recent years, still lags behind other regions of the world. With all these ideas, the promotion of rural agriculture in Africa, coupled with an acceleration of transformation in the sector should allow to densify the economic growth of African countries by stimulating the creation of jobs, improving food security by stopping the internal migration crises without forgetting the dynamism of the local economy.

The appreciation of the job creator component

The development of rural agriculture combined with the implementation of a real transformation policy should considerably accelerate the promotion of rural employment and in turn greatly contribute to the reduction of poverty. For several major development goals in Africa, agriculture is of paramount importance. While more than 60% of the jobs in sub-Saharan Africa come from the exploitation of the land, on the contrary, only 10% of the budget of these states is allocated to agriculture and local development; which in the end only contributes up to 17% of the GDP of these countries. This situation, considered unacceptable in its very principle, should not prosper because, in such conditions where rural agriculture is announced as a great pool of the future in view of its ability to lift the masses of people out of unemployment, it would be impossible to achieve the expected growth rate of at least 6% per annul.

In Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, where the sector has been the most employment-intensive for many years now, research has significantly adapted, and most importantly, intensified management practices in rural areas. In Central Africa, too, where 80 out of the 90% of the poor population living in rural areas are poor farmers, the contrast is more than evocative. Many people think that priority should be given to the rural sector, which sounds like a real employment hub and a brake on the population’s migration

Fight against internal migration crises

The phenomenon of internal migration on the African continent represents a great difficulty for the establishment of incentive policies for agriculture in Africa.

The more the situation gets bogged down, the more people tend to think that it would be better to settle elsewhere by opting for unsavory urban destinations where there is promiscuity, unemployment and an unsuspected underemployment rate. In most of these large cities today, most urban pool are recent immigrants from the rural exodus. When these displacements are due to climate change for example, we talk about ecological migrations, but when it comes to these populations to migrate to the interior of the country simply because in search of better living conditions, it is more common to talk about the phenomenon of “rural exodus”. How then to understand that such a strong human potential, conscious of its qualities, continues to mop in the big cities of African countries while the development opportunities exist and are numerous in the rural areas? By providing support and advocating for a real policy of local production and processing, the balance under the influence of governments should be considerably balanced to allow the African country to emerge victorious if only in terms of food safety.

Improvement of food security

Even today, Africa is considered, despite all the pool and potential available, as a melting pot of famine and poor quality food. So to fight against these imported considerations and which sufficiently reflect the precariousness that food that animates the continent, many are those who plead for the promotion of a rural agriculture vector of sustainable and solidary growth in order to reach a system which ensures a food nutritious, safe and accessible to all Where many people are poor so that they can feed themselves properly, new agricultural policies mostly in rural areas, must henceforth ensure genuine food security. It is no longer a question that by 2063, with the CAADP agenda, we still have people dying on the continent because of the effects of malnutrition or famine.

Boosting the local economy

For many experts on local development issues, it would be important, if not compelling, for African states to focus more on local processing of products from rural agriculture. In their wake, “rurality” must play a pivotal role in national agendas to boost development. Productive enterprises that manage agricultural, processing and marketing activities for domestically produced products should be encouraged. Such an initiative has led to the formation of many GICs, specializing in cocoa farming, in the rural areas of Central Cameroon, which, with the efforts, have been able to give their product a better quality which has enabled them to sell it to other countries. A price much higher than that practiced on the market. With all this and, with the gradual establishment by these GIC structures of transformations of their cocoa beans, many of them can boast by proudly declaring that the living conditions, today are much better in their locality than in the past.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Photo Credit : google image/illustration

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