According to Farmers Weekly, countries in Africa were still South Africa’s largest trade partner, and local agribusinesses needed to take note of megatrends affecting these African markets. Many African countries were also showing growth in their agricultural sectors. Zambia, for example, had a net deficit in maize production 10 years ago, and was now a maize exporter with a surplus of grains. It had also added 800 000ha to its maize production, Prof Ferdi Meyer, director at the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), said. Meyer explained that those countries that had showed growth, often demonstrated a good uptake of technology. While this boded well for exporters, increased productivity in some African countries also meant low commodity prices, which led to decreased growth, and infrastructure unable to cope with excess yields, Meyer said. Many farms in Africa were still not producing optimally, and prices were being negatively affected by climate volatility, he said. Megatrends that would define agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa were: global food and energy prices, a population explosion, a shift to non-farm employment, changing farm structures, soil degradation and climate variability, he concluded.
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