Africa can create 1-trillion-USD food market by 2030: World Bank

Africa can create 1-trillion-USD food market by 2030: World Bank
# 04 March 2013 19:18 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Africa's farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-U.S. dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land, the World Bank said on Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Africa's food systems, currently valued at 313 billion U.S. dollars a year, could triple if governments and business leaders radically rethink their policies and support to agriculture, farmers, and agribusinesses, which together account for nearly 50 percent of Africa's economic activity, noted the report.

"The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty," said World Bank Vice President for Africa Region Makhtar Diop.

"We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa's determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent's environment," Diop added.

Africa holds almost 50 percent of the world's uncultivated land which is suited for growing crops, and Africa uses less than 2 percent of its renewable water sources, compared to a world average of 5 percent.

African countries can tap into booming markets in rice, maize, soybeans, sugar, palm oil, biofuel and feedstock and emerge as major exporters of these commodities on world markets similar to the successes scored by Latin America and Southeast Asia, said the Washington-based bank.

Agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report calls for strong leadership and commitment for both public and private sectors.

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