UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) has recently released a book-report titled “Agribusiness for Africa´s Prosperity”, which is worth to read.
On this post, I will extract the centre part of the content, which is referred to what the editors call The Seven Core Pillars of Agribusiness Development in Africa, representing these, the key drivers for transforming challenges for agribusiness development into opportunities.
These 7 pillars are:
1. Enhancing agricultural productivity
2. Upgrading value chains
3. Exploiting local, regional and international demand
4. Strengthening technological efforts and innovation capabilities
5. Promoting effective and innovative sources of financing
6. Stimulating private sector participation
7. Improving infrastructure and energy access
Summarizing in a reduce number all the essential factors of something so extensive and complex as the development of Africa´s agribusiness -or food production system- is a highly tough exercise. I congratulate from here the editors for the job done.
Obviously, to other people´s eyes, these 7 pillars may be an incomplete list; others may consider other the relevance of each,… it´s a subject for great debate.
I´d like to contribute and suggest one pillar which I find strategic: KNOWLEDGE.
I want to mean with Knowledge, the need to fix locally a minimum critical-mass degree of talent in all subjects related to agribusiness, that allows to perform some of the other pillars of development.
The developed world is helping Africa by sending huge quantities of physical inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, money, etc. But talent is a much needed input virtually impossible to pack and ship from abroad. Furthermore, it´s absolutely essential that the required talent to be local, in order to create a real self-sustained path of development.
In this sense, I find a primary goal that an army of local agribusiness consultants and advisors is trained and intervene in the agribusiness industry of their respective countries, spreading the basic knowledge and solutions required locally for farmers, entrepreneurs, food producers, traders, etc. Consultants would do to the food industry what doctors and sanitary staff do on health care: cure diseases, relieve from the enemies of growth and promote measures for stronger and safer bodies.
This is my 8th pillar for development of Africa´s agribusiness. I invite you to leave your comments and opinion on this interesting theme.