Agriculture is an important engine of growth for the region’s economy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 70 percent of agriculture outputs are used as intermediate products in the
manufacturing sector. Agriculture is the major economic sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and employs an average of 52.6 percent of the working population.
There are various factors which influence the type of agricultural activity which different countries in the Sub-Saharan African region conduct. The major determining factors are climate and topography. Climatic factors encompass temperature, rainfall, humidity, and other weather-related phenomena. Establishment of irrigation schemes is highly beneficial to Sub-Saharan African countries as it helps to minimize reliance on unpredictable rainfall, which has become more erratic due to the impact of climate change. Irrigation helps to increase the land under cultivation, as well as extend agricultural seasons by enabling two crop cycles to be implemented.
Currently only 4 percent of land in Sub-Saharan Africa (26.1 million of 679 million hectares of arable land) is under irrigation due to the lack of enough investment in the management of water resources. Topography covers aspects such as altitude (distance above sea level), soil type, water availability (or lack thereof). As an example, East African region’s high altitude and acidic soils provide ideal conditions for growing cocoa, with Ethiopia and Uganda accounting for 62 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s coffee production.
This report focuses on South Africa, Ghana and Ethiopia’s agriculture market, to obtain insight into how the markets are structured as well as opportunities which investors can capitalise on.