Africa’s economies have mostly been agrarian-based societies since independence. Despite this fact, only 6% of the continent’s land is arable as there are large deserts in North and Southern Afric. Agriculture contributes two-thirds of the continent’s employment and accounts for 30% of the value of its exports.
With its mature commercial farming value chains, deep agribusiness sector, and strong export orientation, South Africa ranks among the continent’s top food producers. Cote d’Ivoire’s place among Africa’s top agribusiness nations stems from its dynamic plantation sectors, including cocoa, coffee, and rubber production. The country accounts for 41% of global cocoa bean production, which is estimated at USD 9.94 billion in 2018. Consolidation, aggregation, and value addition through cooperatives (such as the Githunguri Dairy in Kenya that serves close to 40,000 farmers in East Africa) has helped position Kenya among the top agribusiness leaders on the continent.
Women in Africa represent nearly 70 percent of the workforce in agriculture and contribute up to 90 percent of the labour.
Smallholder farms are family farms that are less than seven acres and form 80 percent of Africa’s farmland. There are 33 million family farms that are under four acres in Africa.
Foreign investment contracts in Africa account for nearly 50 million acres of land.
One third of Africa’s food spoils after it is harvested.
All African countries are signatory to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, where they aim to increase public investment in agriculture by a minimum of 10% of their budgets.