La ville de Kigali, au Rwanda, a accueilli du 5 au 8 septembre 2018 le forum de l’AGRA, devenant ainsi la capitale de l’agriculture africaine pendant ces quatre journées. Délégations gouvernementales, partenaires techniques et financiers, chercheurs, universitaires, investisseurs, producteurs, club de réflexion, entre autres, étaient en conclave pour faire l’état des lieux du secteur et mesurer les progrès accomplis sur la route de la transformation de l’agriculture africaine.
A travers une démarche rétrospective, cette contribution se propose de présenter les faits saillants de l’agriculture africaine. Nous revisiterons les défis et proposerons de considérer le développement du secteur de l’agriculture comme étant une partie d’un système dont le développement nécessite des politiques publiques endogènes, cohérentes et soutenables.
“This article has been originally published in 'Morocco in Focus 2018,' the magazine of the Moroccan Embassy in New Delhi, India on the occasion of the Morocco National Day 2018.”
Who would cry because a whale has died, thrown onto a beach somewhere on our globe by a giant wave, the noble mammal ceasing to breathe through its blowhole in the head. No news on television, possibly a note on the third page of a local newspaper. Eight billion humans, most struggling to survive themselves, will never know or care. A pilot whale has died in Southern Thailand, after consuming more than eighty black plastic bags? A sperm whale discovered dead on a beach of Spain, whose life was ended, a veterinarian confirmed, because the whale had consumed 29 kilos of plastic, which caused an inflammation of the abdomen and then death? So what? Migrants drown each day, look at Libya, and watch the coast of Greece. Another whale found dying off the coast of Norway, apparently suffocated because he confused 30 plastic bags with natural food and was not scared off by labels written in English and Danish, the whale digested them as well.
”All is born of water, all is sustained by water" (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust II).
A colorless, odorless, transparent and tasteless liquid. Yet, the compound of oxygen and hydrogen is essential for human survival. Three to five days without H2O and life as we know it ends. Humanity is water. 60% of our body is water. No water means no future, simple as that. Without it, the body is just dust and five liters of blood, and is suddenly useless. No water in our cells, no heartbeat. The music ends. We all know the battle for survival of gallant nomads, opposed tribes fighting each other for an oasis, for the only water hole, somewhere in the distant desert, or of warriors, who survived knives and bullets but wilted in the heat, capitulating in front of a dried out or poisoned well.
On November 9th, 2017, over 1,000 students and professionals convened at Harvard University for the 11th annual Harvard Arab Conference to discuss key issues across the region. The four-day conference promoted a forward-looking approach to seek innovative solutions to the political, economic, and social gaps that persist across the Arab World. Conference attendees included government ministers, award-winning actors, former heads of state, students, and various other participants. The conference also showcased Arab innovation and resilience through panels and performances and provided participants with ample opportunities for networking.
Ultimately, the question we need to ask ourselves is what sort of investment approach or model best addresses the challenges to the growth of the African Agribusiness Industry.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) consecrated the year 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS). Therefore, it has been a year intended to raise the consciousness of humanity about the importance of this resource (soil) and the need to preserve it to ensure sustainable and shared prosperity. The various stakeholders in the management and use of this resource, particularly those of the agricultural sector have been called to enhance their consideration of this fragile and threatened resource, to reverse the degradation trend by placing its management and use in a sustainable approach. The international community has reaffirmed its commitment to protect this resource through targets 2.4 and 15.3 of the sustainable development objectives adopted in 2015.
The expression “green revolution” is controversial today; yet my own assessment is that, in spite of many valid criticisms, the Green Revolution was a major achievement for humankind: it made erroneous the Malthusian predictions of the 1960s and 70s that it would be impossible to provide enough food for a rapidly growing world population and that major humanitarian crises, including famines, would occur in several countries within a few years, particularly in South Asia. In a wider Atlantic perspective, the need for a new green revolution is particularly obvious in Africa today, as revealed by an examination of past trends for agricultural production and trade flows: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the West Asia/North Africa region (WANA) show a large and growing net agricultural trade deficit. And all projection and prospective analyses suggest that this deficit will continue to grow. Yet, total rural population will also continue to expand making it impossible for these two large regions to follow the agricultural modernization path, through substitution of capital for labor, which other regions of the world have gone through, or are currently going through.