Exclusive: Standard Bank on Africa’s Need for Agritech
With almost all available arable land in the Americas, Europe and Asia already productively farmed using the most developed agricultural techniques, Africa, with 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land, presents a major opportunity to meet the 70 percent increase in global food demand expected by 2050, writes Standard Bank’s Abrie Rautenbach at Africa Outlook.
Land aside, however, Africa presents a further opportunity for growth – by dramatically increasing yield. Currently the continent’s use of traditional small-scale farming techniques returns the lowest yield per hectare globally, especially amongst the cereals and pulses that underpin the foundations of global food security.
While fertilizer, improved agricultural cultivation and livestock practices as well as better seed (biotech) can help improve yields, by far the biggest opportunity within the grasp of African agriculture lies in ‘agritech’, the intelligent use of data enabled by new digital technologies.