Global Challenges

Food security for a future world population of more than nine billion people is one of the main global challenges of our time. It will require food production to increase 70 percent by 2050. The challenge appears even more daunting against the backdrop of climate change and resource scarcity. This production increase has to be achieved on virtually the same amount of farmland – and in many cases without additional fresh water resources – while also aiming to reduce overall carbon emissions per ton of crop.

Global growth also affects agriculture: The world population will grow to an estimated 9.1 billion by 2050, meaning more mouths to feed. Africa alone is set to double its population, to about two billion in the next forty years. Global economic growth results in a bigger middle class and higher purchasing power, driving the consumption of agricultural produce, including dietary changes. At the same time, the McKinsey Global Institute argues that this growth will create more consumer markets that are large enough to be attractive to multinational companies, drawing investments and technology transfers. “Africa's agriculture holds enormous potential for companies across the value chain,” the McKinsey study states.[1]

Climate change, bringing with it more erratic weather conditions, is expected to have a detrimental effect on agriculture in large regions, not least in food-insecure parts of the tropics. In particular, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa may face severe challenges, pinpointing the need to strengthen agricultural productivity and create more climate-robust agricultural systems on the continent. Whereas agriculture's quest for more land drives up carbon emissions, increased productivity may help to mitigate emissions by reducing pressure on existing forests. By facilitating a growth strategy in the two agricultural growth corridors, productivity by the acre is set to increase significantly. In addition, in the case of Tanzania, work is already underway to develop a Green Growth Agricultural Growth Corridor overlay strategy to ensure that a balanced and long-term sustainable approach to investment and growth can be established, while in Mozambique such a sustainability type approach is implicit within the catalytic funding models being adopted.

African Agriculture

Agriculture constitutes the core of the African economy. The sector accounts for about 65 percent of full-time employment and an estimated 85 percent of Africans depend upon the sector, which contributes nearly a third of GDP, and over half of total export earnings to the continent's economies.

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