Panafrican News Agency

Senegal: New report says second green revolution underway in Africa

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - Agriculture is currently standing on the edge of a second green revolution and technological innovation will act as a catalyst in boosting productivity and growth in Africa’s agribusiness sector, PwC Africa said in a new report released on Tuesday.

According to the report which came out following PwC’s latest Africa Agribusinesses Insights Survey 2016, the revolution will entail fundamental shifts in how the agricultural sector utilizes and implements innovative technology to improve output in a sustainable manner and address the need for greater food security globally.

''Currently, there is a second green revolution underway. There is a desperate need for food security and therefore higher agricultural output without compromising resources in the process,'' remarked Frans Weilbach, Agribusiness Industry Leader for PwC Africa.

''Advances in technology and innovation are the key to the future of agriculture as agribusinesses strive to feed an increasing population against a background of climate change, scarcity of water and a host of environmental concerns.''

''Innovative technology and advancements in productivity are becoming increasingly important as pressure mounts on food systems. The global population is growing rapidly and the climate is ever-changing.''

''Agribusinesses are making changes to go high-tech. From data-gathering drones to artificial intelligence farming, technology is making the agricultural sector more precise and efficient as agribusinesses push for increased profits,” Weilbach added.

The report highlights that agricultural sector is regarded as one of the most critical industries for the African continent due to economic potential and is projected to become a US$1trillion industry in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by 2030.

It said more than half (58.8%) of survey respondents consider investment in Africa as an opportunity for their businesses to expand and the top four countries they are planning to invest in are Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa.

Meanwhile, PwC’s Agribusinesses Insights Survey 2016 was carried out among a group of African agribusinesses that were mainly focused on delivering agricultural and related services to primary producers.

The survey focused on the strategic challenges that agribusiness leaders face in their businesses, while on the other hand it highlighted areas where technological innovation was already taking place and where it could make a difference in the future.

In addition, the survey provided viewpoints on the agricultural sector in Nigeria and Kenya.

Survey respondents, however, were less optimistic about revenue growth over the next 12 months compared with their expectations a year ago.

The majority of agribusinesses (46.2%) were expecting revenue growth of between 0-5%, and 26.9% of businesses expect it to be between 6-10%.

The biggest challenges to business growth cited by business leaders were access to technology, the scarcity of natural resources and supply-side uncertainties.

African agribusinesses also feel that there is a long way to go toward better support from government in the sector. For example, businesses are of the view that government does not offer sufficient tax incentives to ensure international competitiveness.

Furthermore, they say government is not doing enough to develop skilled workers in the sector.

According to the report, all agribusinesses indicated that they felt a responsibility towards food security. Food quality and safety is the one pillar of food security that respondents indicated they can contribute towards the most followed by availability and affordability.

''It is predicted that technological innovation will act as a catalyst in lifting agribusiness to the next level in Africa. The winners will be those agribusinesses that seize the opportunity to create new opportunities through technology – they will be able to reach their strategic goals faster and more efficiently,'' Weilbach concluded.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 31May2016