A window of opportunity for Africa : Agricultural Innovation, Integration and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

  • Agriculture 4.0, fuelled by innovation and technology, is driving more productive, efficient and sustainable food systems.
  • The combination of agriculture 4.0 and regional integration can help African countries transform their agricultural sectors and leapfrog economic development. 
  • Capturing this opportunity will require a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem that incentivises business development, spurs domestic innovation and promotes the adoption of and access to scale-neutral technologies in agricultural supply chains.

Innovation and technology are fundamentally changing the way we produce, trade and consume agri-food products around the world. This dynamic is driving opportunities to increase productivity, efficiency and sustainability in agricultural supply chains, demonstrating real promise to address many of the obstacles to global food security.

Technological change and its applications have become an integral part of the innovation package often termed “agriculture 4.0” whereby technologies observe, measure, record, analyse and respond to data gathered in food systems in order to maximise output, minimise inputs and optimise information flows.

Simultaneously, Africa is embarking on greater integration with the recent ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which will provide opportunities to create jobs and spur economic growth. With roughly 25% of total African agri-food exports and 16% of agri-food imports traded within Africa in 2017, there is considerable untapped potential to increase intra-regional trade.

For a continent that faces the greatest challenges in achieving food security – and is increasingly food import dependent – the combination of digital technologies and trade integration can help African countries boost their agricultural sectors and leapfrog economic development.


Read the complete article at Trade for Development news from EIF