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Why Africa offers growing opportunities for agricultural products

Author: Mmatlou Kalaba

The main drivers of demand for agricultural products are population growth, urbanisation, economic growth and changing diets. 

Population growth brings greater demand, urbanisation leads to more people buying food rather than producing their own, economic growth increases purchasing power while changing diets implies that people are opting for diverse, and sometimes healthier, consumption.

Africa is expected to double its population from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050, making it the fastest growing region in the world. The continent is also urbanising rapidly. More than 50% of the population still lives in rural areas but this is changing. The continent is expected to have one of the highest urbanisation rates in the world over the next 35 years.

The fact that the growth factors are present on the continent and most are increasing presents opportunities for businesses connected to the agricultural sector. For South Africa, this is a chance to widen opportunities for its struggling agricultural industry. The foundation has been laid by some agro-processing companies and retailers that have successfully set up operations in countries north of the Limpopo River. 

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