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Africa economy – How to add value to agricultural products grown in Africa

Published on: 01/30/2023 – 00:20

Agriculture is at the heart of African economies. Nearly 60% of the continent’s population works in the field. However, these land workers remain precarious, and the current challenge is to bring added value to their production. What some farmers and entrepreneurs on the continent are trying to do.

Mariam Lafia N’gobi is 23 years old. This young Beninese, with a degree in agronomy, is currently studying for a master’s degree at the Sorbonne. 3 years ago, she embarked on a project to develop tomatoes in the country. ” From July to October, the tomato is in abundance on the market, but from January there is none. Whereas when there were, I did a study, we saw huge losses, tons of rotting tomatoes. And then we’re going to buy cans of tomatoes from abroad “, she notes.

With student colleagues, she set up a small business processing tomato puree. But she faces some challenges. “ Containers are expensive, glass boxes are used. And it must also be said that we cannot produce in large quantities. The company is nascent and still small, so we can’t produce in large quantities, which means that we can’t make a lot of margins », Explains Mariam Lafia N’gobi.

Blockchain to support exports

Mariam’s small business is one such initiative that seeks to add value to local products. On a completely different scale, Bioliva Med Company, Tunisia’s leading exporter of olive oil. Its general manager Adel Ben Romdhane has just invested in a high-performance computer system costing several hundred thousand euros.

We invest in a technical and financial blockchain. For the technical blockchain, in fact, we can consult our stock, we can trace everything: the fluidity of information between all the stakeholders, whether they are suppliers, customers, staff, farmers, banks, etc. “says Adel Ben Romdhane, who continues:” And above all, in our case, because we have to go through referencing and approvals with customers, we are subject to a series of audits and the blockchain helps us a lot or makes the company audible even from a distance. Which was not possible before, because there are a lot of registrations, there is a lot of paperwork. »

Another lever of added value: organic. ” The transformation of a good part, both of the land of the olive groves and of the mills towards organic farming, has given a lot of value because the consumption of organic olive oil, it is growing strongly and Tunisia is a country that is naturally organic “, underlines Adel Ben Romdhane.

For this, Bioliva is working on the certification of its plantations. Traceability and control are a real challenge here.




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