February 28 2023 | Agriculture, Economics
Plant-based food takeover

Food production, specifically meat production, is responsible for nearly 60% of the planet-heating gases emitted by humans. In this article, we will explore the significant growth that the plant-based foods market has witnessed in the past few years, as well as its projected expansion over the next decade, highlighting major consumer trends that are driving this growth. How does meat consumption contribute to climate change? Greenhouse gases are gases that affect the earth’s temperature. The most known greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2). But there are other gases responsible for the greenhouse effect, such as methane, which is up to 34 times more damaging to the environment than CO2 if measured over 100 years; this ratio increases to 86 times more damaging if measured over 20 years.  Livestock produces significant amounts of methane as part of their normal digestive processes, and when there is an overconsumption of cattle, there is a strong increase in gas emissions. According to recent studies, by 2050, global meat consumption is projected to reach between 460 million and 570 million tons, which is twice as high as in 2008. And clearly, the processing and transportation of this livestock generate further emissions. Emissions from livestock account for about 14.5 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions globally, and roughly 2/3 of those emissions come from cattle. Meat production is responsible for 57% of all food production emissions; 1 kilo of beef generates around 70 kg of greenhouse gas emissions. Meat production also contributes to the exhaustion of water resources. According to the UN, one quarter-pound burger requires around 1,500 liters of water.  In addition to the gas emissions, raising meat requires a large quantity of feed, and cattle ranching requires millions of acres of land and monoculture crop fields to feed this livestock. Cattle ranching drives deforestation 5 times more than any other sector and is responsible for a great majority of the Amazon forests; estimates show that about 70% of its deforested land is used for cattle. Converting natural habitats to agricultural fields releases greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.  As a result of these facts, the plant-based movement has been growing as people understand the relationship between their food choices and the planet's health. From the planet’s perspective, plant-based foods would require 37% less water, and their production would generate significantly lower gas emissions. This is where the race for market share begins.  Plant-based foods: the future?  2021 Bloomberg report: The plant-based food market globally is expected to reach $162 billion by 2030, up from $29.4 billion in 2020. A report published by Bloomberg in 2021 stated that global retail sales of plant-based food alternatives (meaning food that consists of all minimally processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, herbs, and spices and excludes all animal products) may reach $162 billion by 2030, which is an increase of more than $100 billion compared to 2022. The plant-based market is growing 5 times faster than the overall food industry. In the Middle East and Africa, the plant-based meat and dairy products market is projected to witness a CAGR of ~6% from 2022 to 2027. As more people are moving toward a healthier and cleaner lifestyle, the term “flexitarian” (meaning a casual vegetarian) is growing fast. With 14% vegetarians and vegans worldwide and 15% flexitarians, this means that 29% of consumers globally are now embracing plant-based alternatives The Asia-Pacific region has the largest share of the global plant-based market, and with a growth scenario of around $51 billion from 2020 to 2030, its market could reach $64.8 billion. This growth is driven by cultural and demographic factors, since the region’s population is expected to exceed 5 billion people by 2030, increasing the demand for plant-based alternatives.    Plant-based meat  In 2025, the global meat market share is expected to reach 90% of the global meat supply, and this ratio is expected to decrease by 50% in 2040. While meat alternatives are expected to increase by around 15%, reaching 25% of sales during the same period, cultured meat (genuine meat that is produced by cultivating animal cells directly) is expected to increase by 35%. These predictions demonstrate the market potential of plant-based alternatives, and that plant-based and cell-based meat will account for most of the meat sold by 2040 (with a combined share of 60%). The Asia Pacific plant-based food market was valued at $17.1 billion in 2020 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 15.9 percent between 2018 and 2026. With a market share of 37.9% in 2020, China dominates the Asian plant-based food market. On top of that, the Chinese government is planning to reduce meat consumption in the country by 50% by 2030. According to a study published in 2021 by DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences and IPSOS, demand for plant-based meat substitutes in China and Thailand is expected to increase by 200% by 2025. In the US, the plant-based food market reached $7 billion in sales in 2020, compared to $4.8 billion in 2018, recording a growth of 43%. The growth of plant-based food sales has outpaced the growth of total food sales by 2.5 times during that same period The table below illustrates the top 5 companies in meat alternatives by dollar share:   In the Middle East, meat alternatives are increasing, for instance, UAE-based Halal food brand Al Islami launched its first vegan burger in 2021. In 2019, the global plant-based meat market reached $19 billion, with the Middle East accounting for $176.5 million, and was projected to grow by 4 to 5% annually until 2023. Plant-based milk The plant-based milk and derivatives market has already disrupted the dairy market and still has significant room for growth. Multiple factors are contributing to this growth potential, including lactose intolerance, and rising health concerns. According to the Food Intolerance Network, as much as 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Dairy products also contain high levels of saturated fats, which increases the risk of high cholesterol. As people are moving toward a healthier lifestyle, plant-based dairy alternatives have the potential to reach $68.8 billion by 2030, compared to their 2021 value of $25.2 billion, growing at a CAGR of 11.8% from 2022 to 2030 In the Asia-Pacific region, alternative dairy products are projected to make up 57% of the plant-based protein market by 2030 In the GCC region, 65% of consumers suffer from lactose intolerance, and 48% of consumers claim to prefer the taste of almond and oat milk to cow’s milk. Lulu hypermarket, a leading supermarket in the UAE, stated that the plant-based milk market has grown by 50% in 2020.  New market access Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to become vegetarians and vegans, as they are more environmentally aware and have a strong sense of social responsibility. Regarding their consumption, 63% of Gen Zers consume a vegetarian or vegan meal at least once per month, and 44% do so once a week or more. According to a 2022 report, 79% of millennials and Gen Zers are already regularly eating plant-based. In the United States, while only 2.5% of Americans over the age of 50 consider themselves vegetarians, 7.5% of Millennials and Gen Z have given up meat. Since future consumers are millennials and Gen Z, companies are focusing on offering products that appeal to them." The plant-based food industry is rapidly expanding and capturing a sizable market share; it also shows promising growth potential over the next 10 years. Therefore, now is the time for companies to innovate and develop plant-based alternatives. Interest in alternative proteins, for instance, is increasing globally, as plants have limited environmental impacts and are a healthy alternative filled with protein. Although alternative proteins accounted for only 2% of the world protein market in 2020, they are expected to reach 12% by 2035. Pea protein, for instance, grew at a 30% CAGR from 2004 to 2019. Animal protein will stay prevalent in the market; this, however, does not eliminate the room for plant-based foods to grow and solidify their place in the market. According to a Bloomberg study, the plant-based food market is estimated to hit $162 billion in the next 10 years.  Author: Dina AlGarf Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/13/meat-greenhouses-gases-food-production-study https://www.myclimate.org/information/faq/faq-detail/what-are-greenhouse-gases/ https://unece.org/challenge https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/11/1025271 https://www.cleanwateraction.org/features/meat-industry-%E2%80%93-environmental-issues-solutions https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-59232599 https://www.sustain.ucla.edu/food-systems/the-case-for-plant-based/#:~:text=Now%2C%20for%20those%20of%20you%20worried%20about%20protein%20content%3A&text=From%20a%20water%20perspective%2C%20using,to%20eat%20plant-based%20foods. https://www.forbes.com/sites/christophermarquis/2021/03/02/plant-based-foods-are-our-future-and-entrepreneurs-are-helping-us-make-the-shift/?sh=7dbeae5351f5 https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21102019/climate-change-meat-beef-dairy-methane-emissions-california/#:~:text=Emissions%20from%20livestock%20account%20for,for%20grazing%20and%20feed%20crops. https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/foods-and-beverages/world-consumption-of-meat/story https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2022/amazon-beef-deforestation-brazil/ https://www.livekindly.co/middle-easts-vegan-food-market-growing-fast/ https://assets.bbhub.io/professional/sites/10/1102795_PlantBasedFoods.pdf https://foodspecialities.com/industry-news/dairy-ingredients-industry-news/high-margin-growth-opportunities-with-plant-based-milks/ https://cultivateinsights.com/2019/07/22/alternative-meats-could-be-60-of-the-market-by-2040/ https://gfi.org/marketresearch/ https://thevou.com/lifestyle/2019-the-world-of-vegan-but-how-many-vegans-are-in-the-world/#:~:text=Right%20now%2C%20the%20total%20number,percent%20of%20the%20world%20population. https://foodinstitute.com/focus/veganuary-2022-coincides-with-growing-flexitarian-trend/#:~:text=Flexitarians%20are%20more%20flexible.&text=It's%20estimated%2015%25%20of%20the%20population%20already%20is%20flexitarian. https://tradeinsights.amys.com/millennial-gen-z-buying-habits-spell-growing-opportunity-for-plant-based/ https://www.visualcapitalist.com/sp/how-does-animal-meat-compare-to-plant-based-meat/ https://www.bloomberg.com/company/press/plant-based-foods-market-to-hit-162-billion-in-next-decade-projects-bloomberg-intelligence/ https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/middle-east-and-africa-plant-based-meat-and-dairy-products-industry https://web-assets.bcg.com/a0/28/4295860343c6a2a5b9f4e3436114/bcg-food-for-thought-the-protein-transformation-mar-2021.pdf https://www.plantbasedfoods.org/marketplace/retail-sales-data-2020/ https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/05/18/2446161/0/en/Plant-Based-Meat-Products-Market-Size-Worth-US-14-527-55Mn-Globally-by-2028-at-15-3-CAGR-Exclusive-Report-by-The-Insight-Partners.html https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/10/14/1929284/0/en/Plant-based-Meat-Market-To-Reach-USD-30-92-Billion-By-2026-Reports-And-Data.html https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/08/16/2499600/0/en/Dairy-Alternative-Market-Size-to-Hit-USD-68-79-Billion-by-2030.html#:~:text=The%20global%20dairy%20alternatives%20market,11.8%25%20from%202022%20to%202030.

April 12 2019 | Africa, Agriculture
Successes, failures, and the way forward for African Agriculture policies

This is part one of our African Agriculture series – where we explore successes, failures, and the way forward for African Agriculture policies.  The dangers of land reform policies – The case of Ethiopia Land reforms have been a thorny issue in Africa since the independence periods. Many countries, including South Africa and Nigeria, are still trying to navigate the complex matter of land rights, land reorganization, and the proper way to distribute agricultural land based on historic and socio-economic considerations. Ethiopia stands out as a stark reminder of how land reform policies can go awry, and lead to increased vulnerability among small-scale rural farmers. Despite its immense agricultural potential, with large stretches of arable land (4th largest in Africa in terms of arable land with over 151 190 km²), the country has been consistently suffering from bouts of famine and dire food insecurity. Ethiopia’s agricultural difficulties can be linked to multiple elements, including poor rural infrastructure, weak farmer support, and a lack of modern agricultural equipment, but many of the sector’s structural problems can be traced back to the poor land reform policies implemented in the 1970s. The Marxist military government ruling Ethiopia from 1974 until 1987 launched a complete overhaul of the country’s land system once it reached power, proclaiming the end of land ownership and transforming all agricultural land into government owned land. This new transformation was accompanied in 1975 with the proclamation of the “land to the tiller” policy in matters of agricultural land. Under this new policy, farmers and peasants who originally tended the land were given the right of use for agricultural purposes, but no ownership rights were given (selling, mortgaging, leasing, leaving land to descendants). Moreover, land and plot distribution/redistribution were common during this period, as rural population increased and demand for land-use skyrocketed. [caption id="attachment_4879" align="aligncenter" width="652"] Figure 1: Rural population in Ethiopia[/caption] The system in place stripped away any economic incentive to develop the land, as farmers were under the constant fear of land redistribution and reorganization. This insecurity in tenure (or simply the feeling of insecurity) created a self-perpetuating vicious cycle, where farmers were incentivized to exploit the land they were assigned as much as possible, without investing any personal resources on improving it. The “land to the tiller” system also led to the fragmentation of agricultural land, as farms were handed out to any rural farmer able to exploit it. Farms sizes shrunk rapidly under the new land distribution system, with small farms (which constitute more than 75% of the country’s agricultural land) averaging less than 0.8 hectares per farm. In addition, land dependency rates started climbing as more people had to rely on agricultural land for their livelihood. [caption id="attachment_4880" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Figure 2: Agricultural Population[1] per hectare of Arable land[/caption] This new reality created socio-economic conditions that are conducive to heightened poverty levels among farmers, increased vulnerability to environmental shocks, and a generalized situation of precarity. The dire state of Ethiopia’s agricultural sector was exposed when the country experienced one of the worse bouts of famine in its history in 1984[2], which highlighted the fact that large parts of Ethiopia’s rural population were one drought away from starvation. Moreover, land stress and over-exploitation also became more prominent under the new land administration system, as poor farmers were left with no choice but to exploit their assigned plot of land to the highest levels (no use of land rest periods or crop rotation techniques). While the full extent of land degradation is very hard to measure, recent estimates suggest that over 85% of Ethiopia’s agricultural land is considered “moderately to severely degraded”. The legacy of Ethiopia’s land reform policies in the 1970s can still be felt today across the country’s agricultural sector. High Farmer poverty levels, recurring localized food shortages, and land degradation stand as reminders of how poor policy-making in the agricultural sector can have lasting effects on rural development and poverty alleviation. Despite some improvements -introduced by the 1995 constitution- to the status of farmers and their relationship with the land, all agricultural land remains under state ownership to this day. Ibrahim Zaaimi – Research Associate  Sources : R Paper; R Paper; Article; FAO; Book Chapter Analysis; Report; Analysis; Press; Press; Paper; Analysis [1] The agricultural population is defined as the number of people depending on land and farming for their livelihood (farmers and their families, agricultural workers and their families) [2] Political repression and food aid blockade heightened the impact of the droughts and shortages

August 08 2018 | Agriculture
Land Reform in Africa: lessons from Nigeria and South Africa

Africa has more than 202 million hectares of uncultivated land, equivalent to almost half of the world’s usable uncultivated land. Despite this, Africa suffers from the highest poverty rate in the world with nearly 47.5% of the population living below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day (as of 2008). Poor resource management and improper governance of land have been the main hindrance to unleashing the potential of the agricultural land in Africa. Recently, this untapped fortune attracted the attention of many international and African organizations. The World Bank report on “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity” highlights many opportunities that Africa can make use of to achieve sustainable growth and eradicate poverty through scale-up programs and policy reforms. Such reforms are entitled to increase land productivity, boost food security and ensure inclusive economic growth. The World Bank suggests a 10-step scaling up program to enhance land reform in Africa based on lessons learned from countries like Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, and China. “Land governance is a proven pathway to achieving transformational change and impact that will help secure Africa’s future for the benefit of all its families,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in Africa[1]. The program builds on previous experience and adds customized solutions to address specific challenges in African countries, among which are the following: Poor documentation that leads to land grabs by investors Corruption and incompetent administration of land Lack of expertise and need for capacity management To overcome those challenges, and to ensure the reforms serve the purpose of sustainable growth, the steps suggested by the World Bank program include[2]: Securing tenancy rights over individual and public lands Redistribution of land possession, to include the poor and deprived majority Improve land governance: enhance transparency, power decentralization, develop information systems and databases to ensure proper documentation and better mapping of lands Adopt technology innovation to enhance efficiency Capacity building: providing training and knowledge transfer facilities for better administration of land Reforms of planning to ensure efficient use of the available agricultural capacity Empower the rule of law to guarantee farmers rights and resolve disputes Implementing these reforms would enable Africa to make use of its land resources to attract investments and achieve higher returns, which will lead to more growth and less poverty in the region[3]. Nigeria and South Africa have started their way through land reforms and below are lessons learned from each. Nigeria Land Reform Nigeria is the country with the highest population in Africa, 151 million representing 250 ethnic groups as of 2008. Nigeria’s agricultural sector is one of the major sectors contributing to the economy as it creates jobs for more than 50% of the rural population. The country’s total land area is estimated to be more than 910 thousand square kilometers of which almost 80% is usable for cultivating crops and livestock production[4]. 80% of the Nigerian rural population are farmers, however, the percentage of land used from the total land is only 33%. Limited public investment (less than 2% of government expenditures), corruption, need for land law reforms were among the main reasons behind the inefficient use of land in Nigeria[5]. Since land ownership is a major determinant in the use of land for agricultural purposes, the Nigerian government published the Land Use Act of 1978 to ensure land is accessible to all farmers in a fair distribution system. However, many reforms are yet to be implemented in the Act to ensure that it achieves its objectives. Building trust between government and people, and educating the public about the laws, procedures, and reforms are inevitable actions that the Nigerian government needs to consider to enable the country to achieve its mission to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020[6]. South Africa Land Reform The need for land reform in South Africa has never been more crucial. The country has witnessed inequality in land ownership between the black majority and the white minority for ages. Reforms tried to address this challenge since 1994, but till 2011 reforms could only help in transferring 6.27 million hectares to the white minority, which is equivalent to 7.2% of the land already owned by the white in 1994[7]. This progress is too slow, and South Africa needs to fasten the pace of reforms implementation. The case of South Africa makes it clear that reforms that do not target small-farmer needs will not be so effective in achieving sustainable growth. To ensure successful implementation, the government should involve civil society and provide enough support to farmers. Lately, many international organizations are trying to induce land reforms in South Africa to benefit from the country agriculture resources. Conservation South Africa (CSA) is working closely with governmental agencies to enhance farming practices to maximize productivity and achieve food security within the nation[8]. Hend Behery, Senior Associate at Infomineo Sources [1] http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/publication/securing-africas-land-for-shared-prosperity [2] http://www.focusonland.com/download/532c7dd2f0275/ [3]https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/13837/780850PUB0EPI00LIC00pubdate05024013.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [4] https://usaidlandtenure.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/USAID_Land_Tenure_Nigeria_Profile.pdf [5] http://www.hrpub.org/download/20171030/UJAR4-10410070.pdf [6] http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTARD/Resources/336681-1236436879081/5893311-1271205116054/mabogunje.pdf [7]https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/13837/780850PUB0EPI00LIC00pubdate05024013.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [8] https://www.conservation.org/global/ci_south_africa/our-initiatives/food-security-land-reform/Pages/food-security-land-reform.aspx

April 11 2018 | Agriculture
The Africa Continental Free Trade Area:  Benefits, Costs and Implications

African leaders from 44 African nations gathered at the African Union Summit from March 17th to 21st 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, and signed the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty to create the world’s largest single market. The agreement will be the largest trade agreement in history since the creation of the World Trade Organization. (1) The pact aims to boost intra-African trade by making Africa a single market of 1.2 billion people and a cumulative GDP over $3.4 trillion. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates that the implementation of the agreement could increase intra-African trade by 52% by 2022 (compared with trade levels in 2010) and double the share of intra-African trade (currently around 13% of Africa’s exports) by the start of the next decade. (2) (8) Among the AU member states that did not sign the pact are the continent’s two largest economies - Nigeria and South Africa. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau are the other member countries which did not sign the pact. (1) (3) (4) Under the CFTA, governments commit to removing tariffs on 90% of goods produced within the continent. The next step for the governments is to ratify the CFTA in their countries within the next 6 months. (1) Objectives of the Continental Free Trade Area Establish a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business professionals and investments, accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union. (5) Expand intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation across Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and across Africa.(5) Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the integration processes.(5) Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level by exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources. (5) Potential Benefits & Relevant Implications According to a research paper published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in February 2018, the CFTA offers many opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth in the African economies. However, not all countries will benefit to the same extent, and the gain of welfare benefits also implicates relevant costs and commitments. (6) Most of the benefits of further trade integration (i.e. welfare benefits from lower import prices, production efficiency and increase in outputs,  higher value-added jobs and exports, technological specialization, etc.) will materialize in the long term, while most of the associated costs of adjustment and integration (i.e. loss in trade tariff revenue, local SME’s vanishing in front of stronger competition, adjusting unemployment, required investment in infrastructure, political and regulatory reforms, etc.) will be incurred in the short term. (6) Using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, UNCTAD has estimated the quantitative effects of the CFTA according to 2 long-term scenarios: a full Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Special Product Categorization (SPC). (6) A full Free Trade Agreement (FTA) eliminating all tariffs in the CFTA could generate welfare gains of US$ 16.1 billion, at the cost of US$ 4.1 billion in trade revenue losses (representing 9.1% of current tariff revenues). GDP and employment are expected to grow by 0.97% and 1.17% respectively. Intra-African trade growth is estimated at 33% and the continent's trade deficit is expected to drop by 50.9%. (6) Special Product Categorization (SPC) permanently exempts sensitive products from liberalization. In a scenario in which the sector with the highest current tariff revenue would be exempted from liberalization, UNCTAD simulations estimate a welfare gain of US$ 10.7 billion in the long term. Tariff revenue losses are expected at US$ 3.2 billion (representing 7.2% of current tariff revenues). GDP and employment growth are expected to grow by 0.66% and 0.82% respectively. Intra-African trade is expected to grow by 24%, while, Africa's trade deficit only shrinks by 3.8%. (6) UNCTAD also estimates the employment effect of the agreement by sub-sector (Figure 4). The agriculture sector is extremely relevant for the African economies since it employed about 53% of the continent’s labor force in 2016. Governments are worried about possible adverse impacts of the CFTA on the agriculture sector's economic growth, which would massively affect employment across the continent. Even though the largest employment growth rates are found in manufacturing and services sectors, agriculture sub-sectors are also expected to grow (see Figure 4).(6) Costs & Commitments Despite the many benefits this agreement will render, not all the countries are expected to benefit equally from the free trade agreement. While expected average GDP growth is around 1%, some countries are expected to grow over 3%, while some others are expected to contract (Figure 5).  Figure 6 shows that, under the SPC scenario, fewer countries suffer tariff revenue losses above 20% compared to the full FTA scenario. (6) It is vital that African countries commit to continue improving their institutional capacities to efficiently tax and redistribute the gains from the CFTA. This includes integrating and harmonizing regulatory measures, eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, and facilitating the entry into the formal economy. (6) (8) Another key factor to fully exploit the potential benefits of the CFTA is infrastructure. Addressing Africa’s physical infrastructure gap will require $93 billion per year worth of public and private investment. (8) Even though African exports to the world are undiversified and mostly composed of raw materials, Intra-Africa exports (exports between African countries) contain more value-added products. (7) Manufactured goods represented 43% of intra-Africa exports during 2012-2016, while only representing 20% of exports to the rest of the world. Medium and high technology manufactures represented 25.4% of intra-African trade in 2015, but only accounted for 14.1% of Africa’s exports to developed countries and 13.7% of the continent’s exports to the world (Figure 2). (6) (8) As such, countries with large manufacturing bases and enabling physical and industrial infrastructure, such as South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, and Ethiopia are in a better position to gain the expected benefits of the CFTA. (7) Agriculture will also benefit from the creation of a more viable African marketplace for food. Enhanced trade in agricultural products will also promote agro-processing and further sectoral linkages with manufacturing. (8) Even though the CFTA is a great step forward towards economic integration, there is still a long road ahead. African governments must commit to keep working so that the gains from the CFTA are distributed as fairly as possible, making sure no one is left behind, and ensuring that the CFTA becomes a catalyst for sustainable economic development for the continent as a whole. (8) Jesús Cazares, Analyst at Infomineo. Sources https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/Africa-leaders-ink-largest-free-market-treaty/539546-4351888-ubv411z/index.html https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/african-continental-free-trade-area-afcfta-180317191954318.html https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/22/africa/african-trade-agreement-world/index.html https://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-trade/nigeria-keen-to-ensure-africa-trade-bloc-good-for-itself-president-idUSKBN1GX29V https://au.int/en/ti/cfta/about http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ser-rp-2017d15_en.pdf https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-African-free-trade-deal-could-improve-regions-credit-profiles--PR_381153 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/this-african-trade-deal-could-improve-lives-across-the-whole-continent/  

Investments in Agribusiness in Africa

  Can Africa feed the world? Africa’s agriculture sector has been growing at a steady pace and might turn the continent into an economic power. Africa might be able to feed itself and the world if it keeps putting a focus on enhancing efficiency in using its resources. The focus on agriculture emerged from the willingness of African policymakers to capitalize on their strengths to achieve economic growth. Following this line of thinking, as part of the first declaration of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity made during the African Union Summit in 2003, African leaders committed to allocate 10% of the budgets to agriculture [1]. The past decade has been witnessing economic growth in African regions that endorsed the CAADP, with a 160% increase in agricultural output [2]. The upward trend in the sector uncovers the potential of agricultural investments in Africa in promoting growth and decreasing poverty levels, whereas, agriculture represents 30% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and more than 40% in export volumes [3]. African governments, business leaders, and global decision-makers are putting more efforts into funding the agribusiness in the region. Several measures are being placed together to reduce the obstacles for growth in the region, calling for creating common grounds to combat climate change, land degradation and desertification [4]. Moreover, investments in the continent have been booming in the past year. Rising to a total of $2.3 billion, with over $500 million in new private-sector investments in 2015 [5]. Being the land of the richest resources, Africa has naturally been attracting investors because of the large scale of unexploited resources in the continent. Only 7% of the 39 million hectares of land suitable for irrigation is currently irrigated [6], while the continent holds 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable lands, which leaves an incredible opportunity for investors willing to capitalize on agriculture [2]. Although Africa has promising prospects in agriculture, there are multiple challenges to overcome to achieve a leading position in the agricultural sector. It is true that investments in food production and capitalization on resources are a key measure, but African countries must focus on creating quality and branding Africa’s agriculture by following international standards and create quality reforms, a challenge that South Africa overcame by becoming a leader in product quality [7]. In addition, there is a greater need for knowledge and funding and investments in infrastructure that go in line with agricultural growth as production growth would lead to an increasing need for transportation networks and links to other countries in the world. Agriculture can drive Africa to rise as an economic power. The continent has the potential to feed the 10 billion world population projected in 30 years. Alongside global leaders, African government ought to put the focus on agriculture at the top of their agenda, to enhancing their food production and quality capabilities. Sofia Hazim, Analyst at Infomineo Sources [1] http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/African-countries-agriculture-production/689860-3379910-wgisl0/index.html [2] https://qz.com/736626/african-farmers-say-they-can-feed-the-world-and-we-might-soon-need-them-to/ [3] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jul/27/africa-potential-to-feed-world [4] https://thewire.in/148694/africa-land-fertility-degraded/ [5] https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2016/05/18/investments-in-agriculture-in-africa-rises-to-2-3bn/ [6] https://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/southern-africa/2015/08/13/africa-agriculture-investment/ [7]  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/africa-could-feed-the-world-if-it-overcomes-these-challenges

August 01 2016 | Africa, Agriculture
Agriculture in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. It is located in the Horn of Africa, bordering six (6) countries: Djibouti and Somalia to the East, Eritrea to the North and Northeast, Kenya to the South and Sudan and South Sudan to the West. With a population of 94 million (2013) growing at annual rate of 2.5% in 2014, Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa (Moller, 2016). The country is the place of origin for the coffee (Arabica) bean and sometimes referred to as the land of natural contrasts, home to vast fertile West, jungles, and numerous rivers, and also the world’s hottest settlement of Dallol in its North. The real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged at 10.9% between 2004 and 2014, which has leapfrogged and positioned the country to become a middle-income country by 2025, after being the second poorest country in the world in 2000 (Moller, 2016). Powered by considerable public infrastructure investment, Ethiopia has witnessed a rapid and stable economic growth, in addition to a decrease in poverty to 30% from 44% in the past decade. Role Agriculture in Ethiopian economy Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ethiopian economy, contributing 41.4% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), 83.9% of the total exports, and 80% of all employment in the country (Matousa, Todob, & Mojoc, 2013). Put in perspective, Ethiopia’s key agricultural sector has grown at an annual rate of about 10% over the past decade; much faster than population growth. Other important sectors are service and industrial sectors contributing 43% and 15.6% respectively (The World Factbook, 2016). On agriculture expenditure related metric, Ethiopia has dedicated an annual investment of about 14.7% of all government spending to the agriculture sector since 2003. Ethiopia is among the few African countries that have consistently met both the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) targets of 10% increase in public investment in agriculture by the year 2008 and boosting agricultural production growth by 6% at least by 2015. Although agriculture is one of Ethiopia’s most promising resource, the sector has been slowed down by periodic drought, high levels of taxation and poor infrastructure that often make it hard and expensive to get goods to market. Also, overgrazing, deforestation and high population density has led to massive soil degradation leading to low productivity. The above problems have made it hard for the country to feed itself—best exemplified by the dramatic 1984-85 famine. Since then, the country has experienced similar occurrences that expose a sizeable population to humanitarian needs. As things stand, over 3 million Ethiopians need food and other humanitarian assistance annually (SIDA, 2015). However, a critical look at the sector shows a high potential for self-sufficiency in grains and also for the development export especially for livestock, vegetables, fruits and grains. Further, many other economic activities depend on agriculture. These include processing, marketing and export of agricultural products among others. Sectoral overview Ethiopia has about 51.3 million hectares of arable land. However, just over 20% is currently cultivated, mainly by the smallholders. Over 50% of all smallholder farmers operate on one (1) hectare or less. Smallholder producers, which are about 12 million households, account for about 95% of agricultural GDP. Agricultural production is mainly subsistence, and a large portion of the country’s commodity exports is provided by the small agricultural cash-crop sector. Key agricultural sectors Coffee & tea; Ethiopia has a great potential for coffee production, thanks to the country’s abundant rainfall, optimum temperatures, conducive altitude and fertile soil. Over 60% of Ethiopian coffee is produced as forest coffee, and therefore the use of fertilizers is usually unnecessary as the falling leaves enrich forest floor. Also, the use of chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides among others is limited since the high genetic diversity in the forest creates a balance between parasites and pests (Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association, 2016). Ethiopia is Africa’s largest coffee producer, and the fifth world’s producer contributing some of the world’s finest coffees. The country accounts for over 3% of the global coffee market. Coffee is by far the country’s largest foreign exchange earner. In 2013/14, Ethiopia exported 190,734 metric tons earning US$ 749 million. Some of the major destinations of the Ethiopian coffee are Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, USA, Belgium and France, importing over 70% of the country’s total coffee exports (Tefera, Abu, 2015). While Ethiopia has a potential to grow all types of tea, the country produces only black tea, with a production capacity of 7,000 tons of black tea per annum. According to the country’s ministry of industry, the tea industry has been lacking investment (Ethiopia’s Ministry of Industry, 2016). Thus, investment potential exists in large-scale commercial tea production as well as modern tea packing and blending industries.  Cereals; In FY 2014/15, cereals’ overall agricultural production increased by 45% (EUBFE, 2015). Maize, for instance, is one of the most important crop in Ethiopia of which the country is Africa’s second biggest maize producer. Mainly grown in SNNPR and Oromia regions in about 1.77 million ha. Other important cereals are wheat and barley mainly in Oromia and some parts of Amhara Regions in about 1 million ha and 1.4 million ha respectively. There are also opportunities for wheat production under irrigation in the SNNPR, Afar, Gambella and Somali Regions. Livestock & Fishery sector; Ethiopia’s livestock population is believed to be the largest in Africa, and tenth in the world. The sector accounts for about 10% of Ethiopia’s export income, with leather and leather products making up 7.5% and live animals 3.1%. The country is home to about 49 million heads of cattle, 22 million heads of goats, 17 million heads of sheep and 38 million chickens. The country also has demonstrated potential for fishery development in its freshwater lakes, reservoirs and rivers. Other investment potential areas in this sector include fish, milk & meat processing, raising and fattening of sheep, goat, cattle and camel (Ethiopia’s Ministry of Industry, 2016). Ethiopia’s Investment potential Ethiopia’s economy is growing with a wide range of opportunities for investment. However, Ethiopia remains an unexploited market and untapped for investors. Out of the total investment projects approved between 1992 and 2012, FDI’s share accounted for about 15.8%, with China, India, Germany, Italy, Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the UK, Israel, Canada and the US being the major source of FDI. While that was a great progress going with the country’s history, there has only been a slight increase since 2012 both in the total number of projects and capital invested (Ethiopian Investment Commission, 2015). The country’s continued public investments in infrastructure is remarkable as well as its new industrial policy geared towards diversification and transformation of the economy (EUBFE, 2015). Ethiopia has competitive advantages in agriculture and agro-processing and sugar owing to the country’s favorable climatic conditions and types of soil suitable for the production of a variety of crops. The conditions are suitable for growing major food crops such as cereals, pulses, and oilseeds. Some of the sectors that also have great potential for investment include organic coffee cultivation, sugar cane, tea and spices, cotton (and textile), a broad range of fruits and vegetables and cut flowers. Ethiopia’s competitive market access Apart from a population of around 94 million people (2013) positioning Ethiopia as potentially one of Africa’s largest domestic markets, the above sectors are equally suitable for the fast-growing export market. By virtue of being a COMESA member, bringing together 19 countries with a total population of 400 million, Ethiopia also has preferential market access to these countries. The country’s closeness to the Middle East also gives potential market opportunities in addition to qualifying for preferential access to the EU market under the EU’s Everything-But-Arms initiative and to the US markets under the AGOA and the Generalized System of Preference (GSP). Ethiopian products have access to these markets quota and duty-free. Erickson Oduya, Research Associate at Infomineo – Know more about Erickson References Agricultural Transformation Agency. (2015). Annualy Report, 2013/14: Transforming Agriculture in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: ATA. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2anaCE8 Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association. (2016, July 24). Major Growing Areas. Retrieved from ECEA: http://bit.ly/2agk7WM Ethiopian Investment Commission. (2015). Ethiopia: A Preferred Location for Foreign Direct Investment in Africa. Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Investment Commission. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2a5fIUw Ethiopia's Ministry of Industry. (2016, July 24). Agricultre Sector Investment Opportunities. Retrieved from Ministry of Industry: http://bit.ly/2aiahov EUBFE. (2015). Ethiopia Economic and Trade Report. Addis Ababa: European Business Forum in Ethiopia. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2a1uQY6 Matousa, P., Todob, Y., & Mojoc, D. (2013). Roles of extension and ethno-religious networks in acceptance of resource-conserving agriculture among Ethiopian farmers. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 11(4) , 301-316. Moller, L. C. (2016). Ethiopia’s Great Run: The Growth Acceleration and How to Pace It. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/29HrOTI SIDA. (2015). Ethiopia's Humanitarian Crises Analysis. Addis Ababa. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/29S64Iv Tefera, Abu. (2015). Ethiopia Coffee Annual MY15/16. USDA FAS. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1FJj345 The World Factbook. (2016, July 11). Ethiopia Country Profile. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://bit.ly/1yAYHLA  

May 09 2016 | Agriculture
South Africa’s Agriculture

South Africa is in the southernmost part of the African continent, bordering six (6) countries: Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe to the north, Mozambique and Swaziland to the east and surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho. The country’s climatic condition is mainly semiarid; subtropical along east coast and characterized by sunny days and cold nights.[1] The World Bank classified South Africa as upper-middle-income economy until 2015. Role Agriculture in South African economy South African population annual growth currently stands at 1.6%.[2] Meaning, the country will be home to over 80 million people by 2035. Therefore, food production must more than double—against fewer natural resources—if the country is to feed her rising population. Agriculture’s contribution to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been declining since 1960 when the sector contributed 10% to 2.5% in 2015.[3] The trend is a global phenomenon, as countries develop from primary industries based economy to the secondary or tertiary sector based. However, despite its declining contribution to the GDP, agriculture remains a significant provider of employment in South Africa, especially in the rural areas. The sector is a major foreign exchange earner. Commercial agriculture is estimated to contribute more than 5% of the country’s labor force. In 2013, it generated about R147.4 billion in income and R116.9 billion in expenditure. The sector still remains one of the primary creators of jobs in the country with nearly 20% of all households engaged in agriculture.[4] Agriculture sector South Africa classifies 79.4% of its land as agricultural, with the permanent pasture accounting for 69.2%— suitable for grazing and livestock farming. Animal husbandry is by far the largest agricultural sector in the country. In 2011, arable land was 9.9%, forest 7.6%, permanent crops 0.3% and the rest of agricultural activities accounted for 13%.[5] In other words, climate-soil combinations leave just 12% of the country as suitable for the production of rain-fed crops. Strictly, only 3% is considered fertile, falling short of countries like India, where arable land accounts for more than 50% of the country land area. The country's rainfall is not evenly distributed across the country, with water availability being one of the limiting factors of production in South Africa. Currently, up to 1.3 million hectares of land are irrigated, producing 30% of the country’s crops. Up to 50% of the country's water is used for agricultural purposes.[6] Despite the above shortcomings, South Africa’s agriculture sector is one of the world’s most productive and robust. The country is not only food self-sufficient but also a net food exporter— making it one of the less than ten countries (the US, Argentina, Canada and Australia among others) globally that exports food regularly. The country’s commercial farming is well developed despite the fact that majority farmers are still engaged in subsistence-focused practices especially in the rural areas. Grain and oilseeds Grain industry is one of the largest subsectors in the South Africa, producing about 30% of the country's total gross agricultural production. Maize, wheat and sunflower account for the largest area of farmland. Up to 15,000 farmers produce maize, most of whom are in the northwest, northern, and eastern Free State, the Mpumalanga Highveld and KwaZulu-Natal midlands. The country is the top maize producer in Africa and 12th in the world, behind some of the world’s largest producers such as the US, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico among others. The country produced eight (8) million tons of maize in 2015.[7] Wheat is produced mainly in the Western Cape and the eastern parts of the Free State. Average wheat production has been constant over time against a steady increase in consumption, leading to remarkable rise in imports to meet local demand. Barley which is another important grain especially in the brewing industry is produced mostly on the southern coastal plains of the Western Cape. The region accounts for over 98% of the country’s barley production. Sugar industry South African sugar industry ranks among the top 15, out of the 120 main sugar producing countries in the world. Sugarcane production mainly stretches across two provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, and is grown by over 24,000 registered growers. Processing of the cane in these regions is through about six milling companies that are operating in the cane-growing areas.  The industry produces over 2 million tons of sugar per season, with up to 75% of this marketed in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the rest exported to other African markets, and Asia among others.[8] Livestock industry The livestock is the largest agricultural sector in South Africa. The country is home to about 14 million cattle and almost 30 million sheep.[9] Overall, the country’s livestock production has kept pace with the local demand for the red meat while the milk production has been relatively constant. However, imports of dairy products exceeded exports in the last decade. The case is different from poultry subsector which has seen significant increase in production over the last 20 years. Despite the remarkable significant increase in poultry production, the country is still unable to meet the massive increase in local demand for white meat. Consequently, chicken is currently one of South Africa’s largest agricultural imports. Fruits South Africa is a major producers and exporter of some of the highest quality of deciduous fruit and citrus. Western Cape and in the Langkloof Valley in the Eastern Cape are the main deciduous fruit growing areas. Important export groups are wine, citrus, grapes, apples, pears and quinces. The industry's export earnings account for more than 10% of South Africa's total agricultural export’s earnings.[10] Challenges in the agricultural sector Since 1994, South Africa has faced a myriad of challenges, ranging from the country’s decision to play by the global rules of free trade, lack of adequate land reforms to insufficient support to a large number of farmers. While liberalization was aimed at making South Africa compete with some of the best in the world, the critical aspect (support for the players) was lost. The support was instrumental in facilitating the actors' effort to compete. In contrast, the competing countries were very supportive of their sector players. Land reforms were also unable to keep pace with the expectation without risking the country’s productivity. In fact, only 7.5% of the land targeted for redistribution to black people has so far been transferred, a situation that is likely to lead to proposals that could be counterproductive to the sector.[11] Regulatory framework Although its contribution to the country’s economic growth is declining, agriculture remains a key focus of the country's Development Plan, with the government spearheading a number programs aimed at promoting commercially oriented smallholder farming. The sector has seen some radical changes in the recent past. Previously, the industry was heavily regulated with financial concessions and subsidies available to farmers. However, farming has since been deregulated with the sector now more or less expected to respond to free market conditions. The producers make independent decisions based on where to purchase or sell the farm products. In fact, farmers are increasingly using the South African Futures Exchange to exchange futures contracts and hedge prices for their products, a pointer to a mature economy. Opportunities in the agricultural sector The sector presents opportunities both in primary production, processing and service areas such as financial and insurance services among others. For instance, poultry subsector is one industry that exhibit great investment potential. As mentioned, despite the significant increase in poultry production, the country is still unable to meet the massive increase in demand for white meat, with the deficit met by imports. Even some most popular crops such as—wheat, yellow maize and sunflower—the local production alone is not enough to meet the processing capacity, a clear demonstration of the need for additional investment to boost the country’s export capacity.[12] Financial institutions could also tap into this expanding sector providing finance to smallholders as well as financial advisory services to the established farmers seeking black economic empowerment (BEE) partners. Currently, the six major sources of credit to farmers include: banks (56%), the Land Bank (30%), agricultural cooperatives and agribusinesses (9%), private creditors account for 3% and other creditors and financial institutions for the remaining 2% credit sources.[13] [1] "South Africa". S.A Info, 2016: Weather and climate. Retrieved Apr. 15, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1NsfxPw. [2] "South Africa". World Bank, 2015. Retrieved Apr. 21, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1UCeZyp. [3] "South Africa". World Bank, 2015. Retrieved Apr. 21, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1Xzmynr. [4] "South Africa". Stats SA: Agricultural Statistics. Retrieved Apr. 21, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1VuoW1s. [5] "South Africa". CIA, 2016. Retrieved Apr. 15, 2016 via http://1.usa.gov/1myh9t2. [6] "South Africa". WWF: Agriculture Facts and Trends. Retrieved Apr. 15, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1imEVt9. [7] "South Africa". USDA, 2015: Corn Production by Country. Retrieved Apr. 21, 2016 via http://1.usa.gov/1alf521. [8] "South Africa". S.A Info, 2016: SA Sugar Association. Retrieved Apr. 26, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1MYTAND. [9] "South Africa". S.A Info, 2016: Weather and climate. Retrieved Apr. 25, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1NsfxPw. [10] "South Africa". WWF: Agriculture Facts and Trends. Retrieved Apr. 15, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1imEVt9. [11] "South Africa". PLAAS, 2013: The Distribution of Land. Retrieved Apr. 15, 2016 via http://bit.ly/22TlVGT. [12] "South Africa". DAFF, 2012: The Status of the Agro-processing Industry in SA. Retrieved Apr. 26, 2016 via http://bit.ly/236kKUy. [13] "South Africa". SA Government, 2015: Agriculture Sector. Retrieved Apr. 26, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1Tw5TQt.

February 04 2016 | Agriculture
Kenyan Agricultural Sector

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION Kenya is a large country of 580,367 km² that borders Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Indian Ocean. Kenya’s nominal GDP in 2014 totaled $60.77 billion USD - $132.4 billion when adjusted for purchasing power – and both the economy and per capita GDP have shown consistent growth despite the recent global downturn, with the national economy averaging 5.2% growth over the past three years. Kenya’s diverse climate and terrain allow for the cultivation of a variety of crops, both for export and consumption.  Up to 48% of Kenya’s land is used for agriculture, majority of which is pastoral. Despite possessing 57,000 km² of arable land, only 5,223 km² is dedicated for permanent crop production. Kenya’s water resources are also underutilized. Renewable water resources total 30.7 Km³, yet total fresh water withdrawal only amounts to 2.74 Km³/year.[4] Significant water resources, bolstered by recent aquifer discoveries in northern Kenya, are available for irrigation projects and could stabilize crop production while maximizing annual yield. Regionally, Kenya is the economic and transportation hub of East Africa, possessing a relatively strong domestic manufacturing industry, supported by its transport infrastructure and export capabilities. Chinese and Indian investment in the transportation sector is likely to increase the export capacity and interconnectivity by 2021. While the goal of these investments is to improve connectivity with Kenyan soda ash producers and raw material excavations in Africa’s interior, the creation of an upgraded transportation and export network will benefit the profitability of Kenya’s agricultural sector. Kenya recently underwent a transition in political leadership through an internationally monitored election. Uhuru Kenyatta won the Presidency with 50.51% of the popular vote in the hotly contested election. But, for over 5 years now, the government has had to deal with the security threat posed by the Al-Shabaab militant group. The insecurity has drawn public criticism with some critics citing public officials’ role in smuggling sugar and tobacco from northern Kenya into Somalia thereby empowering the insurgents economically.  However, the government has reassured the public and investors of her commitment to deal with the challenges posed by the Al-Shabaab. SECTOR BREAKDOWN: AGRICULTURE Kenyan agriculture accounts for 65 percent of the country’s export earnings. The cash crops that drive these earnings include coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton, sisal, pyrethrum, cashew nuts, and horticulture. Horticulture – According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the total horticulture export totaled about US$ 1 billion in 2013.[5] Floriculture sub sector accounts for a significant proportion of horticulture exports. Flowers accounts for more than two thirds of Kenya's horticulture export earnings while vegetables and fruits comprise about 20 percent and 10 percent respectively. While Kenya was not an exporter of the products in the 70s, it is now the major exporter to the EU, where it accounts for almost 40% of all cut flower into the EU. The main EU markets are Holland, Switzerland, Germany, France, and United Kingdom.[6] Coffee – Introduced to the region by the British in 1900, coffee is grown, harvested, processed, and sold via a transparent system of cooperatives and open auctions. 70% of Kenyan coffee is produced by small scale producers who are able to achieve economies of scale because of their progressive cooperative and auction retail system. SL28, grown on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, is widely viewed by coffee experts as one of the best tasting coffee strains on the market. Kenya is benefitting from the coffee price boom, which has boosted average 2015 price to $225 USD per bag (50kg) as of September. Tea–Kenya’s sun-filled days, rain soaked nights, and rich volcanic soil constitute the perfect environment for tea cultivation. Kenya produces more tea than any other country aside from India and China, and grows four different strains that are highly valued on the global tea market. 60% of production is handled by small scale farmers, who rely on the Kenya Tea Development Agency to handle auction sales. The average price of tea sold at auction in Mombasa was 3.10$/Kg. No pesticides are used as the climate prohibits the spread of pests and diseases.  Small-scale producers cultivate and harvest manually while large multinationals use mechanized processes. Tobacco – 80% of Kenyan tobacco production occurs in the southern Nyanza region in the Migori, Kuria, Suba and Home Bay districts. British American Tobacco, which owns 70% market share, has identified Kenya as a growth profit market and is actively producing and marketing its product in the region. Small-scale producers are not as organized as Coffee and Tea producers due to BAT market dominance. Demographic and economic trends indicate continued growth in production and sale despite new laws inhibiting single cigarette sales by street vendors. Cotton–Thanks to prohibitive import taxes, cotton was once the largest domestic industry in Kenya. However, the economic liberalization of 1990-1992 shrunk the industry as cheaper, used imports from Uganda and Somalia replaced domestic production. By 2009, production of lint and yarn had fallen by 80%. But the ecological conditions for cotton growth still exist, and with the signing of new trade agreements with Europe, the United States, and much of Asia, the cotton production and processing industries are beginning to recover. In February 2015, China invested $500 million USD in a 50,000 hectare farm/processing facility just outside of Nairobi, while the import/export bank of India has committed $790 million USD to expand Rift Valley Textile Company operations. The cotton industry in Kenya is definitely trending upwards, particularly with Kenya’s favorable labor demographic to support increased production. Cashew Nuts–Cashew nut production in Kenya peaked in 1979, and faces a variety of challenges despite a recent resurgence in yield. Farmers have neglected trees, treating them as wild and failing to routinely trim and water groves. Proper cultivation and tree stock replenishment presents an attractive investment option, as this sector is underdeveloped and Kenyan Cashew refineries often have to import product because their demand cannot be satisfied by domestic sources. Aside from cash crops, the Kenyan climate supports the cultivation of maize, wheat, sugarcane, beans, cassava, potatoes, sorghum and a variety of horticulture. INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES The coffee and tea industries in Kenya are technologically advanced, mature industries. Small scale holders are organized and manually harvest crops that sell for high value in the global marketplace, while multinationals have developed technological processing methods to deal with larger scale production.  The current coffee and tea price booms would help produce a profitable return for investors as these trends seem set to continue for the next several years. Demand for coffee and tea, especially pesticide free, fair-trade strains, will continue to increase. However, Cotton and Cashew Nut cultivation present two options to invest in high-growth markets where supply does not meet demand and modern production techniques are absent. Investments by India and China in its cotton processing capacity guarantee a market for harvested cotton: Kenya’s processing capacity is set to triple in the next three years. Irresponsible cultivation of cashew trees has likewise reduced cashew yield, to the point that Kenyan processing plants import more expensive nuts from Tanzania because domestic suppliers can only provide 60% of maximum production capacity. Both industries present strong upside for growth, especially considering the current government’s liberal trade policies and Kenya’s growing export infrastructure and capacity. Erickson Oduya, Research Associate at Infomineo - Know more about Erickson [1] Trading Economics, 2016. Accessed on February 03, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1PzGRzu. [2] CIA Fact book, 2015: Kenya’s Demographic. Accessed on February 03, 2016 via http://1.usa.gov/1jNR9f4. World Bank; CIAT. 2015. CSA Country Profiles for Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean Series. Washington D.C. Accessed on February 3, 2016 [4] CIA Fact book, 2015: Kenya’s Demographic. Accessed on February 03, 2016 via http://1.usa.gov/1jNR9f4. [5] Kenya: Facts and Figures, KNBS 2014. Accessed on January 26, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1sGXUGE [6] Flower Industry Statistics, Kenya Flower Council, 2015. Accessed on January 26, 2016 via http://bit.ly/1RKvPtp

October 06 2015 | Agriculture
Egypt: Overview of the Agriculture Sector

The country Egypt is a country in North-Eastern Africa. It shares borders with Libya, Sudan, Israel and the Gaza Strip. It has coasts on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The total area is 1,000,450 sq. km with a population of 83.39 million[1]. The country’s nominal GDP was in 2014 estimated at 286.4 billion USD, which makes it the third largest African economy after Nigeria and South Africa. The GDP using purchasing power parity was calculated at 943.1 billion USD the same year. In 2014, the GDP’s growth rate of the country was 2.2%. The country’s ranking in World Bank’s doing business was 112th in 2015, a 1 point improvement compared to the previous year. Egypt’s GNI per capita is $3,160[2]. Egypt’s natural resources are diverse: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, rare earth elements, zinc, etc.; but the country is disadvantaged by the fact that its territory is more than 90% arid desert, with as few as 3.6% of the land usable for agriculture[3], which can be considered by other nations as not enough to have a proper agriculture, and yet Egypt has fought to get the most out of its land. The Agriculture Egypt hosts one of the oldest agricultural civilizations. The fertility with the Nile river banks and the delta has pushed the populations of all eras to settle down in an area covering less than 10% of the territory, with the rest all covered by the desert with the exception of a few oases. Agriculture is crucial to the economy; its value added accounts for 14.5% of the country’s GDP. The sector also employs 29.6% of the total active population (2010) and represents 11% of all exports (2001)2. Egypt has a very arid climate, the rainfall does not exceed 190mm in the Mediterranean coasts and 60mm in the Nile delta, and even less than 25mm in the Upper Egypt. The country relies on irrigation, 99.8% of cropland was irrigated in 2002. The water supply is governed by the water-sharing treaty with the Nile basin countries, allocating 55.5 billion cubic meters per year to Egypt, representing in 2003 82.59% of the total available water in the country. Agriculture consumed in 2003 81.1% of the total water supply potential[4]. The key agricultural sectors The major crops cultivated in Egypt are: Rice: it is one the major cereal cultivated in the country. It is the second most exported crop after cotton. The country’s production in 2014 was 4.53 million metric tons[5]. Egypt is the biggest producer of rice in Africa. Cotton: it is the major fiber crop cultivated in the country and the most exported crop. In 2014, the production was 525,000 bales of 480 lb., an increase of 20.69% compared to 2013 after two years of decline. The country is the second producer in Africa after Mali. Corn: With nearly 6 million metric tons produced in 2014 and a 2.76% growth compared to 2013, it is one of the major crops cultivated in the country. The country is the eighth largest consumer in the world and the fifth largest importer[6] and the third producer in Africa after Nigeria and South Africa. Wheat: The country is the major producer of wheat in Africa, with 8.3 million tons in 2014. Egypt is also the second largest importer in the world. Sugar cane: it is the main sugar crop with 90% of the yield used for sugar extraction. Forage crops: Egyptian clover is the main produced forage crop in the Nile valley. The other major crops cultivated in Egypt are fruits, vegetables, and beans5. Livestock production is an essential element of Egypt’s agricultural sector. The population has increased steadily between 2000 and 2009, the number of cattle heads went from 3.53 to 5.00 million, buffaloes from 3.38 to 4.00 million, goats from 3.43 to 4.55 million and sheep from 4.47 to 5.50 million, camels, however, have declined from 141 000 to 110 000 head[7]. The challenges The biggest challenge to Egypt’s agriculture is water. Water is a very scarce resource in the region, the major source of this essential commodity is the Nile River. The Nile is the longest river on the globe, it runs through no less than 10 countries – Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt. During the course of history, many conflicts have risen from the difficulty to please all parties. Many treaties were signed, the last one dates from 1959. One of the most important measures was granting Egypt the right to build the Aswan High Fam that can store the entire annual Nile River flow for a year. There are two major threats to the stability of the agreement on water supply. The first is political. A political instability of any sort in one or more of the countries of the Nile basin may endanger the ability of the others to feed their populations and result in an unprecedented regional crisis. The second threat and the most imminent is the growth of the population of those ten countries. By 2050, Africa’s population is expected to grow by an additional 1.3 billion people, the equivalent of today’s China[8]. For the case of Egypt, the population is expected to reach 97.3 million in 2025, lowering the per capita water availability from 1123 m3 in 1990, to 630 m3 in 2025[9].  This shows that the challenge now for Egypt is to look for perennial solutions to lower its dependency on the Nile water supply and to find sustainable alternatives like desalination. Mohamed Taha Akhanchouf, analyst at Infomineo [1] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html [2] http://data.worldbank.org/country/egypt-arab-republic [3] http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/152375/ [4] http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9978e/v9978e0e.htm [5] http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=eg&graph=production [6] http://www.spectrumcommodities.com/education/commodity/statistics/corn.html [7] http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9978e/v9978e0e.htm [8] http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/30/world-population-quarter-of-earth-will-be-african-in-2050.html [9] http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/Alert_Nile.pdf  

July 02 2015 | Agriculture
Agriculture in Ethiopia

This article is the second in a series that seek to examine the role of agriculture as a developmental opportunity for Africa. It focusses on Ethiopia and provides a broad overview of some of the key developments in agriculture. It features and analyzes the country’s agricultural progress from 1960s to date, and some future prospects. The paper aims to provide various stakeholders with a deeper understanding of Ethiopia’s dynamics of agriculture, both from a public and private sector perspective. Background Ethiopia is one of the Africa's fastest growing economies. The country’s growth originates from manufacturing, construction and agriculture-related industries. Although periodic drought and massive soil degradation have previously plagued the country’s agriculture, the sector remains the backbone of the country’s economy. Agriculture still accounts for up to 80% of total labor force, 84% of exports and 46.3% of gross domestic product (GDP). Additionally, other numerous economic activities rely on agriculture, including processing, marketing and export of agricultural commodities.[1] Introduction Ethiopia has huge agricultural potential owing to the country’s diverse climate, largely adequate rainfall, its vast fertile lands and a large pool of affordable labor. Unsparingly, the Exports are almost entirely agricultural commodities, with coffee being the largest foreign exchange earner. The country is also Africa's third largest producer of maize.[2] Agriculture remains one of Ethiopia’s most important and promising sector. However, the production has remained subsistence with the bulk of commodity exports coming from the smallholder agricultural farmers. The major crops include coffee, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, potatoes, sugarcane, and vegetables. These crops come from farmers holding an average of 1.2 hectares of land, 55 percent of whom holding less than one (1) hectare.[3] Despite the enormous potential, Ethiopia’s agricultural sector remains underdeveloped. The sector is synonymous with low productivity, low level of technology as well as weak infrastructure. The above problems are exuberated by the ever increasing population which means more encroachment into the potentially agricultural land. The scenario has seen the agricultural underperform over time. A case in point is between 1981 and 1990 when agricultural production consistently dropped while the population grew. The result of which plunged the country into a tragic famine that claimed nearly 1 million people between 1984 and 1986.[4] There are factors that contributed to the underdevelopment of the country's agriculture during the imperial period, some of which persist to date. Firstly, the neglect of the sector by the government. While significant progress is being made to revamp the sector, agriculture was heavily underfunded in the previous regimes with less than two (2) percent of the national budget dedicated to agriculture. While the current funds allocation is commendable—with the sector currently receiving about 15 percent of the national budget—spending is still insufficient to meet the sector’s needs.[5] Secondly, the tenancy and land reform remained a thorny issue in the country for a long time. The previous regimes failed to implement significant land reform thereby tolerating a perpetuated system in which the church and aristocrats owned large tracts of the farmland. A Large number of farmers were tenants providing as high as 50% of their crops as rent. Thirdly, agricultural productivity remained low in most parts of the country, making the sector largely subsistence. Lastly, there was the lack of technological development in the previous regime, a trend that is slowly changing.[6] Key agricultural sectors There are a number of crops that have remained consistently important in country’s agricultural sector. These include both the staple food and cash crops. Grains—consisting of cereals and pulses—are the most important crops and the main component of the diet of most Ethiopians. The most common grains include: are teff, maize, sesame, wheat, barley, sorghum and millet. All of these crops are mainly rain fed, and smallholders produce up to 94 percent of the food crops, while the state and private large commercial farms produce the remaining 6 percent of food crops.[7] Sesame: Sesame is Ethiopia’s 2nd largest cash export crop behind coffee. Sesame accounts for over 90 percent of the total oilseeds’ export earnings and 19 percent of total export earnings, earning more than US$ 200 million annually.  The rising global demand for Sesame has seen this previously domestic consumption commodity into an important export crop. In less than a decade, Ethiopia moved from being a minor producer to one of the world’s top five producers of sesame. Ethiopia supplied more than 10 percent of the global raw sesame seeds, making the country one of the world’s leading exporters of the sesame seed.[8] Investment opportunities: Up to 95 percent of Sesame seeds are mainly exported raw, due to limited domestic processing capacity in Ethiopia. If all the 320,000 tons of Sesame seeds exported in 2012 were hulled, additional US$ 64.6 million in export revenue would have been generated.[9] The situation presents a significant opportunity for investment in Sesame hulling and other value addition facilities. Currently, consuming markets such as the US and Mexico mainly demand hulled sesame, which leaves the country’s exporters unable to meet the requirements. Teff: Touted as the world’s super-food especially in North America and Europe—is indigenous to Ethiopia, mainly used to furnish the flour for enjera, a sourdough bread, the principal form in which grain is consumed. The crop accounts for the largest share of Ethiopia’s cereal area under cultivation. Teff is mainly grown as a cash by most farmers, with Ethiopia and Eritrea being the only producers in the world. Investment opportunities: It is estimated that the Teff retails at over 10 times in the US markets than it does in Ethiopia.[10] However, there are no large-scale Teff milling companies, most buyers in the central markets are retailers and small millers that eventually sell to consumers in Addis.[11] Putting up a modern commercial milling or processing company targeting Teff export market could potentially gain from his fast-growing sector. Coffee: Ethiopia accounts for 7% of the World's Arabica Coffee production, ranking among the World's largest producers of Arabica Coffee—a species that represents approximately 70% of the world's coffee production [11bis]. Up to 95 percent of the Ethiopia’s coffee come from smallholders, and mainly grown in three regions: Ghimbi, Harrar and Sidamo.[12] Primarily, coffee is an exportable commodity that earns Ethiopia valuable foreign exchange. Coffee exports were estimated at 235,000 ton in the 2014/2015 fiscal year, with a revenue of US$862 million.[13] Domestically, the coffee market is also vibrant although often affected by high price variations from season to season. Coffee price variations are in most cases caused by surplus production in the country as well as the demand and supply in the global coffee market. Horticulture Most regions of Ethiopia have a favorable climate, adequate land and water resources for the production of wide variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers. The country’s vegetable export products include green beans, lettuce, green chilies, potatoes, melons, white and red onions, beetroots, carrots and tomatoes among others. Exportable fruits are oranges, mangos, guavas, lemons and mandarin grapefruits among others. Cut flower exports are roses, statice, alliums, and carnations. The export volume of horticultural products is growing. The flower industry, for instance, did not exist until 2005 but today, Ethiopia is the second largest supplier of roses globally.[14] In 2004/05, the value of Ethiopia’s horticulture exports was US$ 25.8 million. In 2013/2014, the value of Ethiopia’s horticulture exports reached US 245 million, 760 percent up from the US$ 28.5 million recorded in 2004/05 and created about 180,000 employment opportunities in the country. The flowers make up to 60 percent of the horticultural trade, and over 80 percent of the value of the flower trade comes from the trade with the Netherlands.[15] Fruits and vegetables account for the remaining 40 percent of the horticultural trade with over 30 percent destined for Somalia.[16] Investment opportunities: Ethiopia has a diverse variety of flowering plants. Cut flower and vegetable production are fast growing export businesses, which is a great promise. However, only 25 percent of the areas identified for horticultural development is currently developed, meaning that there is still a US$ 750 million untapped export revenue through the development of the remaining horticultural land areas.[17] Livestock: Ethiopia is Africa’s leading exporter of livestock, and one of the top ten leading global producers. In 2013, the country was home to over one hundred million livestock, consisting of 54 million cattle, 26.5 million sheep, 25 million goats and 0.925 million camels.[18] Currently, Ethiopia supplies the global market with mainly semi-processed products such as hides and skins. The animal husbandry methods are largely traditional, rendering the output per unit of livestock very low. Investment opportunities: Traditional methods of animal husbandry that is currently common in the sector present an investment opportunity for the establishment of modern commercial livestock breeding, production and processing of livestock products such as meat, milk and eggs. Government efforts The Ethiopian Government has put up mechanisms to fast-track reforms in the agricultural sector. The efforts aim to reverse some of the sector’s negative impacts witnessed in the previous decades. For instance, the government has set up a Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) with the aim of reaching certain goals between 2011 and 2015.[19] The plan targets achieve an 8.1 percent annual growth in the market during the time frame. The plan included programs aimed at augmenting smallholder farmers’ productivity, increasing the volume of irrigated land, upgrading participation of private sector, enhancing marketing systems, and reducing the amount of households with inadequate food. Another key aspect of the transformation plan is to see the production of selected key crops doubled from to about 40 million tons during the period. The road networks are being improved, across the country with the aim of boosting faster market access for rural farmers. Besides, the private sector such as the commercial banks have also come on board to provide annual credit for the purchase of farm inputs to the smallholders. In a shift towards market-oriented agriculture, the government has introduced national business plans for specific export crops. Also, the government has also moved to encourage international investors to set up in the country. The government has moved to encourage the selling of land for setting up flower firms, with policies to generate growth, such as five-year tax breaks and duty-free import of machinery. [1] Netherlands Space Office, 2014. Quick Scan Ethiopia. Retrieved June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1IXZXxa. [2] USDA, 2015. Foreign Agricultural Service: Production, Supply and Distribution. Retrieved June 11, 2015 from http://1.usa.gov/1cjol7M. [3] Zuberi. M. I., T. Gosaye and S. Hossain, 2014. Potential threat of alien invasive species: parthenium hysterophorus l. to subsistence Agriculture in Ethiopia. Sarhad J. Agric. 30(1): 117-125. Retrieved June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1FiMxV0. [4] USAID/Addis Abbaba, 1987. Final Disaster Report: The Ethiopian Drought/Famine for Fiscal Years 1985 and 1986. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://1.usa.gov/1cW917k. [5] ACCORD, 2014. Putting Small-Scale Farming First: Improving the National Agriculture Investment Plans of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1G88Ddm. [6] Lombardi, Annie 2013. Ethiopia: Managing water and adapting farming practices to provide food security. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1JQ4Loz. [7] Atsbaha Gebre-Selassie, 2012. A Review of Ethiopian Agriculture: Roles, Policy and Small-scale Farming Systems. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1Siis16. [8] Author’s calculation based on FAOSTAT data, accessed on June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/QIPNHr. [9] Author’s analysis based on FAOSTAT data, accessed on June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1IyWFxm. [10] The Guardian, (2015). Move over quinoa, Ethiopia's teff poised to be next big super grain. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1eURBn8. [11] FAO, (2013). Analysis of Incentives and Disincentives for Teff in Ethiopia. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1TgdnrB. [11bis] Index Mundi from http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=green-coffee&graph=arabica-production [12] ECX, (2015). Commodity Briefs: Coffee. Retrieved June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1IwzILn. [13] Ethiopia GP, (2015). New: Ethiopian Coffee Exports to Hit Record in 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1GuZ7pa. [14] Deloitte, (2014). Ethiopia: A growth miracle. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1MvkrLE. [15] Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels, (2015). The 6th international horticulture exposition Conference: 25th - 28th of March 2015 in Addis Ababa. Retrieved June 12, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1C2Fn7e. [16] Author’s analysis based on ITC Trademap data, accessed on June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1INdszS. [17] Author’s analysis based on Ethiopian Horticulture Producers Exporters Association data, accessed on June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1KK2VF1. [18] Author’s analysis based on FAOSTAT data, accessed on June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1MLO4ZG. [19] MoFED, 2010. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) 2010/11-2014/15, accessed on June 11, 2015 from http://bit.ly/1J1dbJy.

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