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From Potentials To Reality: Transforming Africa's Food Production

The aim of this study is to identify how Africa may transform its potentials into realities and actually secure its supply of food for affordable and healthy diets from the sustainable use of resources. Africa’s food imports amount to about US$ 60 billion per year. In net terms, cereals account for about US$ 25 billion per year, meat and dairy for US$ 8 billion, the sugar sector for US$ 4 billion and the vegetable oil sector for US$ 9 billion. This market, which is primarily urban, holds great potential for African agriculture and food industries. So, the opportunities of capturing a growing market share by expanded African own food production are high. Moreover, the case for related investments can be easily made: cost of undernutrition in Africa is on average 11 percent of its annual gross domestic product, and every dollar invested for improved nutrition generates US$ 16 in economic returns (IFPRI, 2016, 2015). Food and agriculture is at the heart of the conomies of almost all African countries. Agriculture – here defined to include crop production, animal husbandry, fisheries and forestry, and the manufacturing and processing related to these – has the capacity to stimulate growth through rising rural incomes, enhance economic transformation in Africa, create jobs, increase government revenue, and ensure accelerated economic growth and development. Increasing producers’ income is a key objective in itself and has large positive effects on poverty reduction and food and nutrition security.

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