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A New Year for Food and Agriculture Trade Opportunities

The World Bank projects food demand to increase by 55% by 2030, bringing the size of Africa’s food and agribusiness to $1 trillion and opening up huge business opportunities all along the value chain. The increase in demand is a major opportunity for the continent’s food industry. This opportunity can only be realised if the current constraints to competitiveness, inadequate levels of investment, low levels of value chain organisation and value added, little export diversification and barriers to expanding trade - domestic, regional, intra-African and international trade can be overcome.


African governments have recognised the importance of increasing intra-African trade and have repeatedly committed to strengthening regional integration through different policy frameworks; through the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the Malabo Declaration, both the public and private sector can play a role in boosting intra-Africa trade - more so in agricultural commodities and services, and as such presenting a real opportunity for Africa to emerge as a big winner in the current global environment.


Africa intra-regional food and agriculture trade is below its potential; the World Bank has reported the continent is losing out on billions of dollars in potential trade every year because of the continent’s fragmented market. Fortunately for the continent, there are signs of improvement, led mainly by trade corridor development, initiatives of individual African governments and companies to penetrate regional markets. Furthermore, private sector operators are identifying new opportunities along the value chain, both intra-Africa and cross continental trade, with technological innovation at the forefront.


The influence of technology on the food industry is greater than ever and will determine the pace at which we transform the industry on the African continent. Sweeping innovations, including trends in vertical farming, aquaculture, biotech, connected farms, blockchain, AI-based advisory, traceability and robotics, are transforming the way we produce and access regional and international markets and will continue to do so.


The technology needed to revolutionize the food and agriculture system already exists, unfortunately Sub-Saharan African agriculture is still underdeveloped - we cannot aspire to curb our export bill without addressing this reality. What does the future of food and agriculture look like? What factors will impact food production most? How will supply chains adapt? How can we successfully integrate African agribusinesses to local, regional and international value chains?


The African Agri Council (AAC) is pleased to announce the launch of Market Access Africa (MAA) 2020 taking place from the 21-24 July 2020 at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in Durban, South Africa. Market Access Africa (MAA) connects the entire food and agriculture value chain with a focus on attaining and improving access to regional and international markets, bringing together food and agriculture buyers and sellers – while promoting African food and agriculture, the development of robust supply chains, cross country and continental collaboration, value chain integration, cost competitiveness, farmer productivity and market led value chain development strategies, as well as regional trade flows and policies.


MAA 2020 will present recent findings from partners, experts and industry leaders on where the opportunity for growth lies in African food and agriculture while strengthening the ability of market actors and value chain enablers.


MAA will adopt a proactive approach to addressing the many challenges faced in food and agriculture trade, with extra emphasis on matchmaking through Value Chain Connect (VCC) rather than reflecting on shortcomings.



About the African Agri Council

The African Agri Council (NPC) is a network of global executives, decision makers and key stakeholders in the food and agricultural industry. We connect executives with their peers, policymakers, investors and financiers and leading global service providers across Africa and around the world.


The Council is an exclusive platform for networking, matchmaking and deal making in Africa. We focus on the business dynamics of food and agriculture; the pioneers, partnerships, investments, joint ventures and regulatory dynamics that determine the future direction of the industry and shape tomorrow’s sustainable food production and consumption landscape. For more information, go to www.agricouncil.org.


For more information about Market Access Africa (MAA) get in touch with Cindy Euston-Brown via email cindy.eustonbrown@agricouncil.org