Private equity investors can help Africa to feed itself

  • 21st August 2017
  • by secretary
16 August 2017. Funds that target agricultural small and medium enterprises can quickly lift processing and production numbers, as well as help develop them into major players in terms of food supply, job creation and poverty alleviation.

There are several opportunities for private equity investors, specifically in countries that are already experiencing fast growth in the agricultural sector, particularly Angola, Malawi and Nigeria. 

  • In Angola, there are enormous opportunities to invest in medium-to large-scale farms in maize, rice, beans, soya and assorted vegetables.
  • In Nigeria, private equity investors can support growing medium-and large-scale farmers in cassava production — money that will be invested in new processing facilities to produce industrial starch that will serve the market, reducing the reliance on imports.
  • Malawi’s poultry and animal feed enterprises, thriving fertiliser industry, production of animal health products, fishery industries combined with adequate food storage facilities make the country a suitable destination for investors. 
At the very heart of Africa’s agricultural challenge is technology, processing, production capacity, inadequate food storage facilities, logistics and efficient agriculture co-operatives. These challenges can only be overcome with robust and enabling policies that encourage the production of raw materials, as well as the efficient distribution of production. Many agricultural businesses in Africa could use help — no matter how large or small — to contribute towards meeting the demand.

Together, governments, investors and other stakeholders must pursue new and alternative sources to funding — such as sovereign wealth funds and domestic resources — and to creating incentives for the private sector to make investments.