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Rabobank report:

Realizing the untapped agricultural power of sub-Saharan Africa

Rabobank has published a new flagship report about the need for global food and agri (F&A) companies to help realize the significant untapped agricultural power of sub-Saharan Africa. In the report, titled “How global companies can help sub-Saharan Africa reach its F&A potential,” Rabobank calls for F&A companies to increase their engagement with the region by acting as significant catalysts in sub-Saharan Africa’s F&A development.

Rabobank sets out four zones of opportunities and five keys to success to improve Africa’s F&A capacity and help it meet the world’s increasing need for food. The report was presented by Rabobank Executive Board Chairman Piet Moerland at the Rabobank Duisenberg Lecture held in Washington, D.C. on October 13th in conjunction with the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

Rabobank’s report comes at a time when the rampant increase in demand for agricultural commodities and stagnating supply growth have created an era of scarcity and higher price volatility. At the same time, the bank says, the gap between Africa’s actual and potential agricultural output is widening. “Given the recent developments and fewer growth opportunities in the global F&A sector,” says Bill Cordingley, Head of Food & Agri Research for Rabobank in the Americas and report co-author, “global companies will need to look to markets like Africa to sustain future growth rates. There are increasing numbers of global F&A companies engaging with Africa, as illustrated in our report, but they need to go beyond the initial investment and knowledge-building stage where many of them stop. The more challenging step is to identify specific value chain opportunities and credible local partners who can co-invest or become a supplier. Nothing works in Africa without partnerships or supply chain alignment. But for those companies that get it right, the rewards will be considerable.”

Rabobank believes many more F&A companies need to change their mindset and take steps now to commit to Africa on a long-term basis. In both helping Africa reach its F&A potential and addressing the increasing requirements of Africa’s emerging urban consumers, global F&A companies will need to adapt their business models to the circumstances on the ground. But there are some overall principles which Rabobank identifies for where global companies should focus their efforts and how they can deliver a successful outcome.

Please click here to read the full report.

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