In a recent article in Foreign Affairs (15 February 2016), the new president of the African Development bank, Akin Adesina, argues that it’s time to start treating smallholder farmers in Africa as business owners. And that it is time to approach agriculture as an investment opportunity.
A lot of debates are about how government and the development community can join forces with the private sector to give smallholder farmers a brighter future. But as Akin Adesina points out, based on his experiences as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, African smallholders are the private sector—the largest segment on the continent.
By seeing agriculture as business, smallholder farmers as customers and entrepreneurs, and companies as organizations that want smallholder farmers as customers and suppliers, policymakers and investors can leverage the continent’s existing assets to catalyze economic transformation rather than trying to create it from whole cloth.
Read the article here.