In a recent interview for SciDev.net, APRA Nigeria researcher Thomas Jayne discusses the state of agricultural commercialisation in Africa, with specific reference to emerging technological innovations. “There’s a lot more capital moving into agriculture than there used to be,” Jayne explains, citing the considerable amount of capital being fed into the country’s agricultural sector from a wave of ‘”investor farmers.”
Despite the generally positive effects of rising food prices for many African farmers, Jayne goes on to discuss a number of issues arising with the ongoing shifts in the dynamics of Africa’s agricultural sector – including rising land prices, and the gradual disappearance of traditional land inheritance. The discussion then turns to the application of technology to agriculture, and its potential to help alleviate some of the issues mentioned; but Jayne qualifies this potential: “Innovations have to happen, not just in technology, but also in institutions.”
Click here for the original SciDev article, and a full explanation of Jayne’s argument for the significance of institutions, combined with specific technological innovations, in fostering an agricultural sector capable of providing all stakeholders – including smallholders themselves – with benefit.
Image credit: CIF Action