SIMA reflects on African agricultural growth

33058087511 95ba8248d3 oScene capture from SIMA show 2017. (Image source: SIMA Paris/Flickr)The Paris international agri-business show, which took place 26 February - 2 March, looks at the success of the African agricultural sector

The report by SIMA focuses on six selected countries; South Africa, Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia. These six economies were selected to highlight different features to represent a continent that is changing. The report has outlined a number of issues, both positive and potentially negative for the continent's agricultural sector. 

South Africa is benefitting from its position as the continent's most developed nation to enhance its precision farming methods. Meanwhile, Algeria is beginning to tap into its vast agricultural potential. Eight million hectares (ha) of land has been cultivated. This is out of a possible 41mn ha. The countries lack of manpower is also encouraging mechanisation. 

Kenya, as East Africa's largest economy, has a number of structured industries including grain, milk, and horticulture. It also benefits from a powerful cooperative system. It is expected that its dairy production will double in value over the next decade. Nigeria is also looking to build on its economic power as there is a desire for the agricultural sector to replace oil as its largest economic sector. 

Senegal is taking advantage of a political desire to increase farm product as both breeding and horticulture are growing quickly. Zambia is utilising its geographic location with its vast water source to grow its agricultural sector. 

There are constraints, such as South Africa's major rural crime rates which threaten agricultural sectors. Algeria suffers from farm fragmentation and from high levels of water stress. Kenya suffers from high levels of poverty, meaning that farming development suffers. 

Nigerian political instability will continue to hinder its agricultural sector while the structural difficulties in the peanut and cotton industries in Senegal. Zambia suffers from its geographical difficulties of being landlocked. Additionally, there are also structural and monetary issues that directly affect farmers there. 

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