Agro Processing Industries
Over the years stakeholders and development partners intervention in the development of Africa’s agricultural sector and the quest for the continent’s attainment of a food secure status has centered on food production leaving out the agro-food processing industry.
Africa has continued to export its agricultural produce in its primary or raw form without a focus on further value addition in processing to end products. Hence, the inability of Africa’s agricultural sector to contribute meaningfully into job creation for Africa’s young people and its rising youth population.
The many problems of poverty, low productivity, inadequate infrastructure and poorly integrated markets faced by sub-Sahara Africa countries are often exacerbated by an under-developed agro-industrial sector. Little attention has usually been paid to the value chain through which agricultural commodities and products reach the final consumers within the country and abroad. This neglect results in enormous potential losses of value-added and employment opportunities.
Interventions in Agro-Industry Development is therefore crucial, urgent and needed to create jobs for Africa’s rising youth who face a high level of unemployment.
A recent report by the African Development Bank has it that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth, aged 15-35, one third are unemployed and discouraged. Another third are vulnerably employed and one in six is in wage employment.
Furthermore, it becomes further alarming to continue to neglect the agro-processing agricultural value chain in light of the projection that Africa’s youth population is estimated to rise to nearly 850 million by 2050.
At Feed Africa Advocacy, we believe that the only plausible solution to create jobs for Africa’s youth through agriculture is by a sustained development and growth of Africa’s Agro-Processing industry and its value chain.
Therefore, we are advocating and implementing programmes and projects that would put Africa on a path to sustainable job and wealth creation for its youth population through development of mini, small and large scale agro-processing industries.
Together we can make mechanization and agro-processing work in Africa!