Many scholars, most notably, Shane Scott have dispelled the importance of entrepreneurship for the sole reason that it’s not start-ups that lead to economic growth rather its economic growth that leads to start-ups. But in continents like Africa, mostly Sub-Saharan Africa, struggling with crippling unemployment, poverty, and idle resources. The only way out is agriculture investment for the simple reason that, encouraging the population to grow food will reduce unemployment, poverty and utilize idle resources (Land and water resources). However, policy makers and government intervention has made the problem worse off because of disincentives they have allowed to hold the sector. One such disincentive is the high level of subsidies extended to farmers which has resulted in entrepreneurs failing to graduate into independent growers. In other words, subsidies have choked the growth of agribusinesses making it impossible to measure real growth.
Entrepreneurs willing to invest in agriculture, especially youths, must look beyond growing and selling unprocessed produce. The future to successful agricultural business lies in understanding the value chain stage by stage. By investing in value addition business owners are ensured good prices for their produce and longer shelf life which will give them access to more formal markets. Policy makers must aim to improve incentives high up the chain by creating more markets and ensuring required processing equipment is available locally. This is the direction next generation of entrepreneurs must take in order to record real growth and alleviate poverty and unemployment.
This article was written by one of Agrostudies’ interns, Mr. Harad Lungu from Zambia on the subject of Entrepreneurship and Agriculture.