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What’s behind Africa’s skyrocketing imports yet increased production growth?

By Loza Seleshie
Posted on Thursday, 2 September 2021 11:25

Waki Munyalo winnows maize collected from her harvest insured by Pula, an agricultural insurance company which helps small-scale farmers manage the risk associated with extreme climate conditions, in Kitui county, Kenya, March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

The headline figures for agriculture in Africa paint a contrasting picture: imports that are steadily rising while the continent's producers are recording harvest growth. Digging deep into the numbers, several trends are revealed: oil importers like Nigeria with huge food import bills, African farmers are producing more and more, but investment and farm yields are lagging population growth as many African authorities neglect agricultural research.