Why Africa has Fallen Short of Building Dynamic Agro-processing Capabilities: Constraints, Options and Prospects

"In the context of agriculture-led development strategies for African countries, vibrant food and allied manufacturing industries to conserve and convert enhanced agricultural output into maximized value-added products for global markets occupy a critical tactical niche. The food industries need to be seen as a strategic, autonomous and growth-stimulating force within the cosmos of African agricultural development. The food and allied industries constitute the motive force that drives the agricultural industry of the developed countries of the world, African countries, therefore, must learn to harness the same vital force to jump-start and sustain the engine of agricultural development in the continent. In recent years, this process has been enacted and re-enacted in one country after another in the Pacific Rim: in Taiwan, Malaysia and now progressively in Indonesia. The infant food manufacturing industries of these countries became the arena in which to acquire the experience and confidence for industrialization. In this role, food manufacturing has proved to be a veritable instrument for targeting, sharpening and enhancing the value of agricultural commodities and fostering the global marketing of the resulting products."