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How sub-Saharan Africa can rethink its approach to agriculture

subsahara

Source: Michael Aliber and Wandile Sihlobo, The Conversation/Agbiz, 14 December 2021, photo credit: Jadaliyya

In response to the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, most sub-Saharan governments are developing economic recovery plans. These will require some different thinking, particularly when it comes to agriculture. Wandile Sihlobo, the chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa, explains to Michael Aliber, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Fort Hare, what that new thinking might look like.

African governments should have a fresh look at agriculture. This involves embracing technology (information technology, mechanical and biotechnology) and also private sector partnerships. There also needs to be confidence in the citizenry to manage their land parcels. This will involve the granting of title deeds or tradable long-term leases in various African countries. And in the case of better seeds, the evidence from South Africa is there for many countries to observe and learn.

The economic recovery from the pandemic therefore presents an opportunity for governments to explore available technologies that could help in the registration of land rights. These include global positioning systems, mapping and blockchain technologies.
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