FAO Africa Agriculture Outlook 2016-2025

  • 10th October 2016
  • by secretary

OECD‑FAO Agricultural Outlook 2016‑2025 Special focus: Sub-Saharan Africa.

OECD Publishing, Paris. July 2016, 137 pages

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook offers 10-year projections of agriculture production trends for cereals, oilseeds, sugar, cotton, meat and dairy products as well as biofuels. It also looks at the challenge of climate change and the strategic priorities for sub-Saharan Africa’s rapidly-urbanizing population.

“Agriculture is a key sector for the achievement of many goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end poverty and hunger and promote prosperity and people’s wellbeing, while protecting the environment. This Outlook outlines how agriculture can actively contribute to the attainment of these goals” (The Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025).

The Agricultural Outlook report is a collaborative effort between the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and FAO to provide supply, demand, trade, and price projections for the major agricultural commodities,biofuels and fish over the next decade (2016-2025).

To present an assessment of medium-term prospects of national, regional and global agricultural commodity markets, the Agricultural Outlook brings together the policy and country expertiseof both organizations and input from collaborating member countries.

A special chapter of the report is focused on the prospects and challenges of the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“While the outlook for agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa [with more than 950 million people, approximately 13% of the global population] is broadly positive, it could be much improved by more stable policies across the region, by strategic public and privateinvestments, notably in infrastructure, and by suitably adapted research and extension. Such investments could improve access to markets, reduce post-harvest losses, and make needed inputs more widely available” (the Summary of the report).

Access The Agricultural Outlook report chapter-by-chapter:

Commodity chapters (not available in full report)

Sub-Saharan Africa’s net imports of food commodities are anticipated to grow over the next decade, although productivity enhancing investments would mitigate this trend. Food import dependency of resource poor regions, such as North Africa and the Middle East, is projected to intensify providing a huge market for any grain exporters in Africa. In SAA countries grain imports will increase 50% in ten years. Comparatively, North Africa will only see a 15% increase.

Due to extremely high population growth, SSA has a very young population. The World Bank predictes that more than half of young Africans will enter agricultural careers, mostly in the format of small family farms. Inovating ways for youth to participate in agriculture has the potential to greatly reduce poverty and hunger. Success for these young African farmers relies on their education of land access and tenure, access to financial services, access to markets, access to green jobs and involvement in policy dialogue. All of this has the potential to make the agricultural sector more attractive to young people, providing an additional push that may be needed for them to enter the sector

FAO believes that the single greatest factor in improve crop outputs over the next decade will be yield improvements. Currently, it’s not uncommon to see post-harvest crop losses above 50 percent in the region. In the next decade African farmers will gain new metholodgies and technologies to improve their yields. The opportunity for large fertilizers and machinery companies to penetrate the African market is likely to greatly increase as farmers seek new ways to improve their output.

FAO reports that foreign investment and external financial flows into Africa have quadrupled since 2000. These flows are expected to increase two times further in the next decade. The report finds that while the outlook for agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa is broadly positive, it could be much improved by improvements in government policies across the region, by an increase in strategic public and private investments (especially in infrastructure) and by suitably adapted research and extension. Such investments could improve access to markets, reduce post-harvest losses, and make much needed inputs more widely available. 

A great example of exactly this kind of investment is the new Norwegian funded company Arise. Arise is a cooperation by Norfund, FMO and Rabobank which seeks to invests in financial institutions in SSA to grow their financial services and capability to supply capital to small-holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The establishment of joint ventures, such as this, will contribute more to the development of banking than just one bank or investment fund on its own.
The new company, to be named Arise, will start with a presence in over 20 countries, USD 660 million in assets and is anticipated to grow to USD 1 billion. Arise will take and manage minority stakes in African FSPs. The key ambition is to build strong and stable FSPs that will serve retail, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the rural sector, and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.

“Rabobank’s activities in investing and building strong financial service providers in emerging economies, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, truly fit our Banking for Food strategy; focused on creating solutions with our clients to feed the world in 2050. It is therefore very important to us to take this approach to a higher level. By joining forces and pooling assets, networks and expertise with Norfund and FMO, two highly experienced development institutions of excellent reputation, we are taking a major step forward.”Berry Marttin, Executive Board Member of Rabobank

 “Norfund invests in financial institutions to strengthen their ability to supply capital and financial services to SMEs and unbanked people in Sub-Saharan Africa and thereby contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. The establishment of Arise will contribute to the development of the financial sector in Africa on a scale which is far beyond what Norfund can achieve by itself. By partnering with experienced, like-minded investors such as FMO and Rabobank, will ensure that Arise benefits from excellent banking, technical and managerial expertise.” Kjell Roland, CEO at Norfund

“FMO is proud to co-create a unique platform for investing in African banks with Norfund and Rabobank. Arise can leverage the extensive banking knowledge and valuable agri-banking expertise of its founding partners. This partnership will increase the availability of financial services to small and medium enterprises. Above all it will allow the people in Sub-Saharan Africa to empower themselves by getting bank accounts and taking loans and thus building a better life for their families.” Nanno Kleiterp, CEO at FMO