The African continent remains the only country to practice food agriculture. However, an attempt at agricultural transition seems to be on the verge, but how do you get there?
What is food-producing agriculture?
Food-producing agriculture is a mode of agriculture focused on self - consumption. Therefore, the yield is only for producers and the local population. Thus, this farming mode excludes the agri-food industry and the export. This method is mainly practiced in southern and developing countries. In addition, food agriculture accounts for 20% of the world's food production.
Food agriculture is generally practiced in countries where the majority of the population is concentrated in the agricultural sector. This polyculture-livestock farming produces wheat, rice and maize. In addition, cassava is grown in Central Africa. Some farmers also produce lentils, bananas, earth nuts. Moreover, the cultivation of wild plants serves as a source of vitamins and minerals.
Food- producing agriculture in Africa
The place of subsistence farming on the African continent
Extensive agriculture is the very foundation of the economy in Africa. This activity occupies 65% of employment and 75% of internal trade on the African continent. In addition, 70% of the population works in this sector, which provides 57% of jobs. However, the agricultural sector in Africa accounts for only 17% of its GDP. This weakness is also due to the failure of ancestral methods, which are nevertheless highly appreciated by farmers.
An agricultural transition in sight
The continent, particularly Nigeria, Cameroon and Tanzania are planning to embark on an agricultural transition from subsistence agriculture to agri-food agriculture. In Tunisia, the businessman Tarek Bouchamaoui is also focusing on modern farming. These initiatives aim to offset food self-sufficiency in the continent. In addition, intensification and modernization of the operating methods will certainly increase the continent's growth. Thus, Africa will be able to compete with the global players in the agricultural sector.
The barriers of the agricultural transition in Africa
The lack of infrastructure
Nonetheless, some countries, especially Nigeria, suffer from a lack of facility to ensure the processing of materials into finished products. Indeed, this country occupies the second place in tomato production in the continent. Yet, the lack of processing factory forced it to import tons of tomato concentrates from Asia. Furthermore, the majority of African countries have sufficient natural resources, but find it very difficult to meet the needs of consumers.
The inefficiency of public policies and the competition of import products constitute the obstacles to agricultural transition. Moreover, the main cause remains the lack of investment that the majority of African countries are suffering from in order to launch the project. In addition, the energy consumption of the machines also prevents the producers from launching themselves. Fortunately, to circumvent this difficulty, Tarek Bouchamaoui focus on the use of solar energy in Tunisia to guarantee the functioning of agricultural activities.