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10 Tips to Build a Sustainable Agribusiness in Africa



10 Tips to Build a Sustainable Agribusiness in Africa

Agribusiness in Africa is never a bad idea. It is in fact a smart move to deal agribusiness in one of the most diverse agricultural continents in the world.
According to the World Bank, Africa is set to create an entirely new development path harnessing the potential of its resources and people. Being home to the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market comes with quite some perks certainly. Perks like increased opportunities of entrepreneurship, economic growth and a potential decrease on poverty in the continent as well.

Why build an Agribusiness in Africa?

Agriculture-based industrial products account for half of all exports from developing countries. However, only 30 percent of those exports are processed goods. On the other hand, it is an outstanding 98 percent in the developed world. The opportunities for agribusiness in Africa are thus, simply huge!

Building an agribusiness in Africa will also contribute to the reactivation of the primary sector by generating jobs, economic wealth, innovation and added value.

That said, how can one build a sustainable agribusiness in Africa?

We have selected ten (10) useful tips to build a sustainable agribusiness in Africa.

1. Research

Just like in every other business venture, robust and rigorous research before the execution of projects is an essential key to success. Research and knowledge in agribusiness will help lower costs and ensure efficient and sustainable production. It will also guide you to comply with legal and health protocols.

Besides that, having enough market information will result in acting according to the needs of your potential customer. This alone is enough to earn valuable market share and consequently, consumer loyalty.

2. Be Open to Innovation

We are in an age where technology and innovations lead. This is because they make life all the more easier. From solar panels to drone technology and even highly accurate hyperlocal weather forecast, lots of agricultural innovations exist to improve agricultural productivity. So, exploit the available innovations to get ahead in your agribusiness.

3. Diversify Your Activities and Look for New Distribution Channels

Having a clear idea of your business model is essential. However, if you are not entirely sure about what to do, then ask yourself a couple of questions before you set your agribusiness in motion.
Agricultural diversity allows you to have two equally beneficial approaches:

  • First, you can opt to produce local consumer products, aiming to satisfy the needs of your closer potential markets. This entails finding local distributors and negotiating favourable terms based on having short distribution channels. With this relationship, you will be reaching broad markets inside your community.
  • Or you could look for alternative ways of logistics and distribution channels. Be sure to explore new markets abroad with a robust e-commerce platform.

If you are interested in this last point, then keep in mind all the possibilities involved in exporting a product. Also craft a value proposition that will be extremely attractive for other niches in the American, European and Asian regions.

It is essential to acknowledge the existing bilateral agreements and trade articles between your country and the ones you would like to export to. Market research, feasibility landscapes, future growth projections, financial analysis, and a solid marketing plan are some key aspects that you need to work on if you want to succeed abroad.

4. Find a Focus to Specialize

Specialisation can be the key to your agribusiness in Africa. Incubating creative ideas linked to a particular and innovative product and studying its viability and reception in the market beforehand certainly increases the chances of achieving your business objectives.

5. Commit to Organic Products

Today, organic foods are in the hearts of everyone. The rise of its popularity is strongly related to environmental sustainability. On the other hand, there is the need to have healthier diets free of chemicals and transgenics. Thus, by opting to produce these organic foods, you will add critical value to your products which your customers will appreciate!

6. Watch the Weather

Sustainable agribusinesses take the weather into consideration in all their activities. This is because weather plays a vital role ( › how-weather-impacts-business) in productivity and profitability of the agricultural sector. For instance, having accurate weather forecasts is used to efficiently time planting, tilling, equipment hiring and more. This also assists effective planning of precious farming inputs such as pesticides, fertilisers, and irrigation. The most accurate tropical weather forecast is provided by Ignitia and has an 84% accuracy. On the other hand, other global models only have 39% accuracy. This means that they are wrong half of the time.

7. Practise Crop Rotation

Crop rotation ensures the sustainability of the earth by growing crops that maintain positive fertility levels year after year. Hence, with crop rotation, your agribusiness can thrive for a long time.
Some benefits of crop rotation include:

  • Maintenance and improvement of the quality of the soil (especially if you are looking to produce organic products).
  • Improvement of the fertility and nutrient content of the soil.
  • Reduction of hydric and wind erosion.
  • Improved drainage, soil aeration, and essential mineral contents of your soil.

and the list goes on.

8. Approach the Final Consumer

Getting closer to the potential and final consumer can be a huge deal! Therefore, offer a strong differentiation from competition with a customised product that fully satisfies the needs and likes of the consumers. Likewise, have a good communication strategy based on traditional and online marketing tactics. Having these in place will certainly give you the advantage.

9. Look for Local Support and Links

It is essential to create models of agricultural industry associations and relationships with other potential partners to improve all the different aspects that affect your agribusiness. The best way to do this is by attending specialized agricultural forums, networking events. Building these relationships can be most important for the success of your agribusiness in Africa.

10. Find Institutional Support

Most African countries are already working on legislation, grants, and subsidies designed with the purpose to support local agricultural entrepreneurs.
Take the time to research the requirements to access these subsidies that will not only provide financial aids, but also advice on technology resources, machinery. Subsequently, these will help you improve your internal production processes to optimize your profits!


Agribusiness in Africa is surrounded with a wrong misconception of being unprofitable, arduous and full of risks. However, it does not have to be so. With the ten tips listed above, you are well on your way to building a sustainable agribusiness in Africa.



● Rural Entrepreneurship in African Countries: A Synthesis of Related Literature
● Counting Africa’s Rural Entrepreneurs – World Bank Blogs
● The Future of Work in African agriculture: Trends and Drivers of Change
● Rural Africa in motion: Dynamics and Drivers of Migration South of the Sahara
The Future of Farming in Africa is not Agriculture but Agribusiness
5 Exciting Reasons Why You Should Start A Business in Africa’s Agribusiness industry NOW!
10 Benefits of Crop Rotation in Agriculture

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