Agriculture in Africa is set to grow; but continent’s infrastructure curbs food production

Between 1997 and 1999, about 228-million hectares, or just 22%, of sub- Saharan Africa’s arable land was in use. On present estimates, by 2030 that figure will rise to 300-million hectares, or just 28% of the total. There is clearly room for Africa to grow more food. “The big constraint is infrastructure,” says Nick Vink, a professor of agricultural economics at Stellenbosch University. Particularly infrastructure for irrigation and its electricity, in addition to transport costs for foods produced, are the main constraints. In South Africa, for example, cheaper rail transport is monopolised by the mining industry, which makes food more expensive to produce. Read more here.


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