The 2020 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) was at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) virtual summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
The report will major on Feeding Africa’s Cities by gauging the opportunities, challenges and policies for African farmers and agribusinesses to serve the rapidly growing urban food markets.
With the report, smallholder farmers have solutions to drive food security, rural prosperity, and inclusive economic growth.
According to Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), through the report, agriculture industry stakeholders will share viewpoints about the transformation agenda while outlining the practical next steps to an agricultural revolution
The report outlines opportunities provided by Africa’s urban food markets to the continent’s 60 million farms. It shows that cities shape Africa’s agribusiness environment by affecting patterns of agricultural production and inducing the rapid expansion of food processing and distribution plans.
“This year’s AASR shows that as the center of gravity in Africa’s agro-food systems shifts increasingly towards urban areas, a cohort of new, non-traditional actors – including city planners, mayors, district councils, trader organizations and public health professionals – are becoming key players in implementing agricultural policy,” said Andrew Cox, AGRA’s Chief of Staff and Strategy.
It also highlights the opportunities in Africa’s growing urban food markets while recognizing that the effective governance of urban food systems requires inclusive models that coordinate and harmonize the actions of the many diverse players now shaping African agro-food systems.
“Traditional markets and small-format shops account for 80 – 90 percent of urban food retailing in African cities. Supermarket shares, though small, seem likely to increase in the coming decades. Small farmers reach urban food markets primarily via traditional wholesale markets and the efficient operation of these markets, therefore, becomes key to small farmer access and competitiveness,” reads the report, in part.
According to media reports, to curb the effects of COVID-19 in economic and social inequalities, the report defines five focus areas to overcome urban under-nutrition and speed up the urgency of urban food system planning. It improves these focus areas urban food system governance; efficient urban wholesale markets; food safety regulation and enforcement; regional free trade and agricultural policy harmonization; and agricultural research focused on high-growth, high-value food commodities.
Domestic food distribution systems, intra-African trade and food safety are the other themes of the report leading to the conclusion that improved urban food system governance and performance can create new opportunities for Africa to transform its agricultural endeavors into thriving businesses.