WANDILE SIHLOBO: African farming must plot its own course
Last week, I came across an interesting article by US agricultural economist Jayson Lusk, highlighting the disruptive trends in food and agriculture. Lusk identified six key trends on the horizon, the two most notable being blockchain – the technology that facilitates bitcoin trades and could be applied to other industries — and online food buying (Amazon might do to food what it has done in other industries). While I agree with Lusk’s sentiments, Africa’s food and agricultural sector is still developing and might follow a slightly different trajectory to that of developed economies in the near to medium term. Some of the more pertinent near-term megatrends were identified in a research paper by agricultural economists Lulama Ndibongo Traub, Felix Yeboah, Ferdinand Meyer and Thomas Jayne. These included: • The youth bulge, which speaks to the fact that 45% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is below the age of 15 and over the next two decades will be looking for employment, which wi...
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