Africa

Agriculture offers economic opportunity

Ensuring growth in agriculture is one way in which Africa could create economic opportunity. Agriculture can be changed into a thriving business in Africa. This was the important message of Microsoft founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates, while delivering the 14th annual Nelson Mandela Foundation lecture in Pretoria. “Right now, most African smallholders suffer from an almost total lack of innovation. They plant unproductive seeds in poor soils in order to produce just enough to feed their family. Doing more of the same is going to bring even more meagre harvests. The key to breaking this cycle is a series of innovations at every step along the way from farm to market,” Gates said. He said African farmers need better tools to avoid disasters, combat climate change and grow a surplus. Farmers need to be connected to markets where they can buy top quality inputs, sell their surplus and earn a profit that they can invest not only in their family’s basic needs but also back into the farm. “This, in turn, will provide employment opportunities both on and off the farm as more prosperous farmers begin to support a range of local agribusinesses such as seed dealers, trucking companies, and processing plants,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za Click here for more agri news.

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