Main Article Content

Challenges and opportunities to the African agriculture and food systems

Dawd Gashu
Montague W. Demment
Barbara J. Stoecker


Reduction in the proportion of undernourished people worldwide has been achieved despite global population increase. However, the achievement of reducing undernourishment globally was uneven; sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in particular has the least progress. In SSA, agriculture is only slowly changing with actual well below potential yields. Failures in agricultural policies, weak institutions, and poor governance are the root of growth stagnation. Agriculture contributes a significant share to the SSA economy and a majority of the population derives their livelihood from this sector. It is justifiable to assume that for sustainable growth of the African economy, significant investment and creative innovation in agriculture are needed. However, several factors such as growth of the farming population, loss of soil fertility, climate change, water scarcity, post-harvest losses, and limited market access could challenge such expectation. On the other hand, new policy reforms and initiatives, and appropriate investment that directly or indirectly support agricultural innovation and growth are emerging. This chapter discusses the challenges and opportunities to advance agricultural growth and food systems in Africa and makes recommendations for solutions.

Keywords: Africa, food systems, agriculture, agricultural research, agricultural investment

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358