Facts and Figures


Engaging youth in climate-smart agriculture

Development efforts look to harness youth as the driving force for a new generation of climate-smart farmers, as adverse climate change impacts wreak ever greater havoc on agriculture across ACP countries.


Scaling: A high priority for agriculture

Agricultural innovations must have a more substantial impact to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 – which call for a concerted effort from the public and private sectors, as well as farmers and processors.

SOURCE: IFAD, 2018 and CIAT, https://tinyurl.com/y9alnv7m


Making value chains climate-smart

Climate-smart agricultural (CSA) practices are increasingly adopted as a means to both adapt to a changing climate, and to mitigate agriculture’s negative environmental impacts. Increasing emphasis is placed on a systems approach to CSA, where climate-smart interventions seek to address the entire value chain.

SOURCE: Based on International Institute for Sustainable Development


Nutrition-sensitive agriculture: Growing market demand for underutilised species

Many traditional crops are highly nutritious and can be a source of income, but their value is often ignored by policymakers, researchers and farmers. Developing better markets for these crops could create new opportunities for small producers.

SOURCE: Bioversity International (2014)


Farm data: Serving smallholder farmers in a digital age

Increasing amounts of agricultural data are being produced at faster speeds, using a greater variety of technologies and innovations than ever before. But what is the value of information sharing for smallholders, and what are the risks?


Certification: An imperfect, but useful, tool

In ACP countries, certification allows farmers to guarantee the quality of their produce, enter new markets and increase their income. To ensure maximum impact, this certification should be part of wider development programmes.

SOURCE: UTZ based on https://tinyurl.com/ydda5l3z


The importance of improving food safety in Africa

Unsafe food causes widespread ill health and economic losses. A wide range of innovations are needed to improve safety standards and global public health.



ICT4Ag start-ups: Building a better e-agribusiness

The recent boom in ag-tech start-ups has helped to further agricultural transformation and improve farmers’ access to valuable ICT-enabled services. But to continue this progress it is pertinent that entrepreneurs design sustainable business models.


Reducing post-harvest losses: a priority for Africa

Post-harvest loss and its consequences for development is a widely recognised challenge. So what are the solutions already underway to ensure that food produced reaches the end user?

SOURCE: Rockerfeller Foundation, 2016 & PYXERA Global, 2017


Professionalising women farmers: Key to success

Women’s organisations are becoming more professional and taking the lead across many value chains, which is driving up yields and strengthening the agricultural sector.

SOURCE: IFC report (2016) - Investing in Women along Agribusiness Value Chains


Combining traditional knowledge with science for climate adaptation

Indigenous communities hold a wealth of knowledge about their local environment, which – if properly documented and shared – has potential to enhance scientific efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

SOURCE: undp.org | culturalsurvival.org


Agribusiness: The women driving agricultural innovation

Innovative businesswomen from across the ACP are joining international agricultural markets as they strive to overcome gender inequalities and achieve sustainable success in the sector


Public-private partnerships

Public-private partnerships are facilitating the transformation of African agriculture, helping farmers’ organisations to become professional businesses that generate higher income for their smallholder members.


Urban agriculture

Micro-gardening and urban farming initiatives help to address increased pressure on Africa’s food security as urban populations continue to rise.

SOURCE: © Association for Vertical Farming, 2015


Climate-smart agriculture

As the impacts of climate change increasingly threaten global food security, initiatives aiming to scale out the adoption of climate-adapted agricultural practices are beginning to gain ground. 

SOURCE: Irina Papuso and Jimly Faraby, 2013


Climate insurance

Increasingly accessible agricultural data is facilitating the scaling out of index-based insurance schemes and helping farmers build resilience and adapt to climate change. 

How can insurance improve adaptation and increase resilience?

Insurance payouts to farmers in response to climate disasters significantly reduce the financial impact of the resultant poor harvest and ensure a shorter recovery period.

SOURCE: KfW Scaling up adaptation through insurance, Bonn, May 14 2017


Mobile money

Payments and financial services delivered by mobile phones are transforming the lives and economic prospects of farmers and businesses involved in agricultural value chains.

Mobile money in sub-Saharan Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, there were 277 million registered accounts in December 2016 — more than the total number of bank accounts in the region


SOURCE: Cargill (2017)


Rural employment

At the high level conference ‘ONE WORLD - No Hunger’ held in Berlin on 27-28 April 2017, G20 representatives highlighted the critical importance of creating better prospects for young people in rural areas.

Employment for Africa’s rural youth

With 11 million youths expected to enter Africa’s labour market every year for the next decade, and with most living and working in rural areas, it is essential that the agriculture sector provides innovative employment opportunities for young people.

SOURCE: The MasterCard Foundation, 2017


Agricultural mechanisation

Agricultural mechanisation is essential for transforming Africa’s agricultural productivity. Whilst motorised equipment can be expensive to buy and costly to maintain, some interesting new initiatives are providing innovative strategies for farmers to access machinery instrumental in boosting production.

Increase in tractors used in developing and emerging regions

Whilst the numbers of tractors, as an indication of mechanisation, have increased several fold in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the numbers have barely increased in Africa over a 40 year period from 1961 to 2000.


Sources of power for land preparation in different regions

In sub-Saharan Africa, much of the power used on farms for land preparation is by human hands and is significantly higher than other regions where draught animal power and mechanisation are more common.


The need for mechanisation in Africa

Africa’s agricultural revolution needs suitable mechanisation solutions for all farmers, from land preparation and harvesting right through to grain storage and protein production in order to increase productivity and profitability.



New generation cooperatives

In an increasingly market-driven world, agribusiness cooperatives are strengthening vertical and horizontal links along the value chain to be more reliable and profitable.

The longevity of African cooperatives

Agricultural cooperatives in Africa have existed for over 100 years and have proved to be very resilient, although the driving factors for their existence have changed over time

SOURCE: Cook and Burress, 2007

African co-operative objectives

The objectives of a cooperative may change over time from when they started with more cooperatives today pursuing value addition activities e.g. Uganda

SOURCE: Cooperative Leaderships Events in Malawi and Uganda, 2016

Cooperative Life Cycle Framework

This dynamic framework suggests actions cooperative leaders may take to sustain the health of the cooperative

SOURCE: Cook and Burress, 2007


The energy and agriculture challenge

Energy access is essential for agricultural growth throughout ACP countries – but the change from fossil fuels to renewables is not without its challenges.

SOURCE: Carbon Tracker Initiative, 2016

SOURCE: Climat & Développement, 2016; GERES, 2016


Biotechnology: Advances in genetic engineering

In ACP countries, recent biotechnology developments are making significant advances in producing more climate tolerant and disease resistant crops and livestock breeds.

GM crop breeding tools

Whilst transgenic crops use genes from unrelated organisms, cisgenic crops use genes from a wild relative.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Biosafety in Africa

Biosafety regulation for GM crops in Africa is still being developed. Nigeria is the latest country to pass a law to regulate GMOs

SOURCE: 2015 African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE)

Africa’s GM drive

Africa has a rich diversity of GM crop trials. GM crops are only commercially grown in three countries

SOURCE: Nature (http://tinyurl.com/zhaz82a)


Water for agriculture: Producing more with less

Producing more crops with less water, while ensuring fair and environment-friendly water distribution, is a major challenge for ACP countries.

Improving soil moisture content

Sustainable farming practices can help to improve soil quality and water retention and therefore contribute to food security.


The water footprint of a consumer product

The ‘water footprint’ reflects the amount of water needed to farm and process a product


Global water stress map

Water stress is a particularly pressing concern for ACP countries. Water shortages hinder economic growth and can lead to other phenomena such as ‘land grabbing’ for water access.

SOURCE: © www.wri.org

Worldwide water use in agriculture (%)

Worldwide, agriculture uses more water than any other sector, well ahead of industrial and domestic consumption.

SOURCE: Aquastat 2014


The connected farmer: A new opportunity for the agricultural system

In the knowledge-intensive 21st century, what does it mean for a farmer to be connected? And what kinds of tools, support and approaches will allow him or her to fulfil their potential?

SOURCE: World Development Report 2016: digital dividends overview http://bit.ly/1IhG3Yo

Digital transformation in action

The internet and related technologies have reached developing countries much faster than previous technological innovations. More households in developing countries own a mobile phone than have access to electricity or improved sanitation. But while the internet has reached almost all countries quickly, the intensity of its use has been lower in poorer countries.

The impact of mobile services by 2020

The opportunities for mobile identified across three areas (information provision, financial services and agricultural trade services) have potential to increase agricultural income by an estimated US$138 billion (€123 billion) across 26 countries by 2020; a significant proportion of this will be gained in developing countries. It is estimated that a total of 549 million users will be connected to these services.

SOURCE: Vodafone Connected Agriculture Report http://bit.ly/1oganQi


Agribusiness incubation: A springboard for women and youth

Agricultural incubation is an established approach. Yet in the wake of the start-ups, it benefits from a new impetus. An update on agricultural incubation – including advice, technical approaches and financing - with a particular focus on women and youth.

Staffing requirements

Establishing an agricultural incubation centre requires specific human resources that evolve over time as needed

SOURCE: Infodev, World Bank, 2012

SOURCE: Infodev, World Bank, 2012

SOURCE: Infodev, World Bank, 2012

SOURCE: Infodev, World Bank, 2012


Regional trade: The customers next door

Regional trade deals are a first step towards linking up agricultural markets – but only a first step. Not just an easy alternative to global trade, the regional approach depends on agribusiness and infrastructure that works.

Comparing africa's competitiveness in production and trade

Limiting factors to boosting Africa's trade include road density, internet penetration and use, electricity production and transaction costs. To date, approaches to regional integration on the continent have focused more on the elimination of trade barriers and less on the development of the productive capacities necessary for trade.

SOURCE: © UNCTAD http://tinyurl.com/lc2xlwo

Intra-regional trade worldwide

Despite its enormous potential to create employment, catalyse investment and foster growth in Africa and Pacific Island States, intra-regional trade remains lowest in these regions at around 11% and 3% respectively, compared to 70% in Europe. However, the importance of intra-African trade varies significantly between national economies.

SOURCE: © UNCTAD http://tinyurl.com/lc2xlwo


Marketing and packaging: The retail revolution

With many of Africa’s economies amongst the fastest growing in the world, middle class urban consumers are increasingly changing the face of the food market in Africa. This evolving, more sophisticated market brings with it new challenges and opportunities. 

Choice vs convenience

Consumers choose different outlets according to their needs as shown in preferences for kiosks and supermarkets in Kenya

SOURCE: Nielsen Emerging Markets Insights, 2013: Kenya

Price vs Experience

As one of Africa's most developed markets, how do Nigeria’s consumers’ choices compare with the rest of Africa?

SOURCE: Africa Consumer Insights (ACIC), 2012

African consumer choices in urban areas

With 40% of its population living in cities, middle class urban consumers are increasingly changing the face of the food market in Africa.

SOURCE: A.T. Kearney African Retail Development Index, 2014

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.