East Africa: EAC Should Modernize Agriculture Sector

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says agricultural and industrialization are the key areas for the East African Community (EAC) development.

Yes! The development lender backs its predication on the fact that the region’s between 75 percent and 90 percent of its population depends on agricultural activities.

The argument based on the fact that if agriculture sector is well developed and linked with industrialization drive, then, it will free the majority of the population from leaving below one dollar a day.

One fact, according to AfDB, is that the value of Africa’s food market is expected to be more than triple in value by 2030 to 1.0 trillion US dollars annually.

The bank says that efficient agricultural production means lower costs of food which, in some households, can be as high as 70 percent of the budgets.

Increasing productivity and lowering the cost of food, therefore, means households will spend less of their incomes on food, which releases funds for other essentials such as health and education.

Similarly, high productivity of cheap raw agricultural materials can also support the agro-processing industry.

Cheap, high quality and consistent raw materials can only be acquired through a modernized agricultural system by freeing excess labor from agriculture and transferring it to the manufacturing sector.

However, modernizing the sector needs huge support from the authorities, and it should start by educating the farmers on the best practice, and putting the right policies in place and arranging for their markets. For instance, with the exception of Burundi and South Sudan, the rest of the member states have stock markets and are cooperating.