Agribusiness is a very promising sector in Africa. This is what Morocco has understood by setting up an Agribusiness innovation centre in Meknes, 150 km from Rabat. Worth 28 million dirhams (2.6 million euros), this brand new centre serves as a centre for skills training, support for project leaders and incubation of Moroccan start-ups.
Called “CENAM Innovation”, the Agribusiness innovation centre houses a 765 m2 technology hall with a laboratory, six cold rooms, a laundry and a dump. Its main goal is to train and support agro-entrepreneurs and to promote ecological agriculture. Indeed, the implementation of this complex is fundamentally in line with the new strategy: “Generation 2020-2030” for the development of the agricultural sector in Morocco. A vision launched by King Mohamed VI in 2020 with a view to improving the living conditions of the agricultural middle class and establishing a socio-economic balance in rural areas of the country.
Agribusiness, a promising sector for Africa
With all its potential, Africa is a continent that is very open to agribusiness. In the report “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness” published in 2013, the World Bank stated that African agribusiness has the potential to be worth $1 trillion by 2030. Thus, the AfDB, which has launched project financing on the continent, gives three reasons for investing in this sector. First of all, it is the size of the market because with about 1.2 billion inhabitants, Africa is the second most populated continent in the world after Asia. And according to United Nations forecasts, it could reach 2 billion people by 2030. This means that it is a growing market.
The second reason is quality. The sustained rate of GDP growth in African countries is reflected in the rising incomes of some segments of the population. Middle-class consumers are becoming relatively wealthier. Increasingly, they are demanding and aware of the food products they choose to consume.
The last reason is the concentration factors. As a result, there is a growing population in African cities. As an illustration, large cities such as Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa and others have millions of inhabitants who can only consume products from the agribusiness industries. The other aspect that should not be overlooked is that there is little competition on the African continent.
In addition, most agribusiness products are imported, whereas African countries have sufficient agricultural raw materials. To this end, the black continent is a strategic continent for the agribusiness industry. Thus, sub-Saharan Africa alone will need about US$940 billion of investment. Not to mention farms’ flexibility and the high availability of cultivable space. The only conclusion is that African continent is a real goldmine for the agribusiness industry.