Recent happenings in the world today has shown that of all the seven continents, Africa is the most backward. Presently, the world’s poorest people are from Africa and as a matter of fact, one of the poorest countries in the world is Congo Democratic Republic (CDR).
The CDR though one of the poorest is also ironically the richest country in the world .This is because In terms of natural Resources, It is the most endowed country in the world.
ln Africa, Agriculture supports the livelihoods of 80 percent of the African population, provides employment for about 60 percent of the economically active population, and about 70 percent of the poorest people on the continent. The global financial and food crises have brought agriculture into sharp focus, demonstrating that poverty and food insecurity go hand in hand. Agricultural growth is a proven driver of poverty reduction. When agriculture stimulates growth in Africa, the growth is twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth based in other sectors
– African Development Bank(AFDB)
This statement from the AFDB Is of a major importance. A lot of Academia, and “think tanks” have sat to brainstorm on which singular sector to affect if meaningful changes and growth will come to Africa? I believe the direct and best answer is Agriculture.
Most of the challenges in Africa is poverty and food based. When a person is poor, he can’t afford a number of the basic necessities, this will consequently make all manner of things generate from this state. For instance, a poor man cannot afford a daily balanced meal, this leads to malnutrition, which will lead to all forms sicknesses and which may in turn lead to death, a major factor for low mortality age in Africa.
A commonly said maxim is that “an hungry man, is an angry man”. Permit me to say that the insurgency and militancy in Africa is majorly sustained because of lack of food. The sponsors of these dastardly acts, capitalise on the fact that people are poor and cannot afford food. So, they give food and some little compensation to get these people to kill others.
Even though the larger percentage of our population is involved in Agriculture, we still find it very hard to feed ourselves. The question should now be, “given the number of people we have in Agriculture, what are we not doing right, and what do we still need to do? ” I wholeheartedly believe the simple answer is -BUSINESS!
Africa has simply not added business to Agriculture to make it Agribusiness in the way and proportion that it should be. We haven’t added real business to our practice of agriculture.
I once heard Bishop David Oyedepo, the Pastor of the largest capacity auditorium in the world say, that the Church should be seen as a business,(God’s Business) and so, must be run as such. Therefore, if the church had been run as a business and it has become what it is today in Africa in a little over 3 decades, and less than 50% of Africans are Christians, then what do you think will happen if we add business to Agriculture that involves about 70%-80% of Africans?
My guess is as good as yours, there will be a boom! This boom is what I call THE GREEN GOLD REVOLUTION, or THE AGRIBUSINESS REVOLUTION.
The time has come for Africa to take her place in the world via one of the main resources that is abundantly available on her soil(Agriculture). It’s time we add business to our practice of Agriculture. Let’s stop exporting our raw commodities, let us process, let us package, let us trade in finished agriproducts. Let’s stop exporting our jobs by exporting our raw agriproduce, let us encourage value chain production and retailing of such.
Enough of all the big retail chains carrying 95% foreign Agric based products, let us give them the benefit of stocking our well processed and packaged products.
Due to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement signed by many leaders in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, we cannot stop the world from bringing their products here, but we can make our products cheaper, and better because they are here in raw form.
Malaysia learnt Oil Palm farming from us, they turned it to a business, and now we are envying them. Brazil has added business to cassava and they are working hard to take the number one position from us. That small country called Israel is leading the world in more than 12 Agric products including Aquaculture(Fishing in the Desert),
Dairy Farming and Drip irrigation. They export a lot of agricultural products to the rest of the world.
Another small country called Singapore is one of the top operators in the Agribusiness sector in Africa with their companies spreading all over.
For Africa to emerge, we must add business to Agriculture. We need to develop our own technology, improve our farming practice, innovate, invent, and create massive and robust markets for our unique African Agric products.
Focusing on adding business to Agriculture will change everything about our continent. Our scientists, engineers, processors, technologists, retailers, marketers, Doctors, Pharmacists, e.t.c will all get positively affected by the Green Gold Revolution.
In a country like Nigeria, the next crops of millionaires will be from the Agribusiness industry. If you’re still thinking about what industry to invest in, Green Gold, is the next Gold Rush, so rush in now. Join me and let us add Business to Agriculture.