Africa: Investments in agriculture reach $2.3bn
These investments created around 30,000 jobs over the past year.Africa's agricultural sector could grow significantly in the coming years with the right investments and policies, according to a new survey of business leaders carried out by the Grow Africa partnership.
Over $500 million in new private-sector investments were implemented in 2015, bringing the total to $2.3 billion. These investments reached around 10 million smallholder farmers and created 30,000 jobs over the past year.
In addition, Grow Africa said that investor interest remains strong, with almost $500 million in investment commitments made in the first quarter of 2016.
However, business leaders believe that better access to finance and risk management tools, infrastructure, and policy and regulatory improvements are needed.
"Agriculture is the sector that will transform Africa. Our industrialisation will be driven by value-added processing of our agriculture products. However we need to tackle key bottlenecks like infrastructure and farmers' access to finance and markets," President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta said, quoted by This Day newspaper.
The Grow Africa partnership was co-founded by the African Union, NEPAD and the World Economic Forum to advance progress on Africa's food security and agriculture-sector goals through multi-stakeholder collaboration.