Agriculture on the edge of a green revolution
AGRICULTURE stands on the edge of a second green revolution.
This revolution is about how agriculture uses technology to improve output and address the need for greater food security globally.
These are some of the highlights of PwC’s Africa Agribusinesses Insights Survey 2016.
“There is a desperate need for food security and therefore higher agricultural output, without compromising resources in the process,” said agribusiness industry leader for PwC Africa, Frans Weilbach, in a statement.
Advances in technology and innovation are key to the future of agriculture as agribusinesses operate against a background of climate change, water scarcity and other environmental concerns. “Agribusinesses are making changes to go hi-tech. From data-gathering drones to artificial-intelligence farming, technology is making the sector more precise and efficient,” said Weil- bach.
Agriculture is viewed as a critical industry for Africa due to its economic potential, and is projected to become a $1 trillion industry in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.
More than half (58,8%) of the survey respondents considered investment in Africa as an opportunity for their businesses to expand.
The top four countries they planned to invest in are Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa.
PwC’s survey was carried out among a group of African agribusinesses focused on agricultural and related services to primary producers.
Survey respondents were less optimistic about revenue growth over the next 12 months.
The majority of agribusinesses (46,2%) were expecting revenue growth of zero to five percent, and 26,9% expect it to be between six percent and 10%.
The biggest challenges cited by business leaders were access to technology, the scarcity of natural resources and supply side uncertainties.
The agribusinesses also felt there is a long way to go for better support from the government in the sector. For example, they believed that governments do not offer sufficient tax incentives. Governments are also not doing enough to develop skilled workers in the sector.
The majority of agribusinesses were of the view that climate change will have a significant impact on agriculture in future — 41,2% indicated there would be a big short-term impact and 35,3% believed there would be an impact over 20 years.
About 35,3% of agribusiness leaders indicated they are considering investment in renewable energy, while 29,4% have done so. The main forms are solar energy and biogas.
— Business Editor.