2013 GAP Report® – Spotlight on Sub-Saharan Africa: The Productivity Gap

While global TFP growth appears to be on track, regional details indicate vast differences in agricultural productivity improvements. The 2012 GAP Report® established a series of regional estimations comparing food demand indexes against projected agricultural output from TFP growth. Figure 4 updates last year’s estimates for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), illustrating that the gap between food demand and TFP-driven agricultural output levels will continue to increase unless significant investments are made to improve productivity through research and through increasing farmers’ access to improved inputs, technology and extension services.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the average annual growth in food demand is projected to be 2.91 percent per year from 2000 to 2030, primarily due to population increases.12 If annual TFP growth continues at the 2001- 2010 average rate of one percent, it will only meet 25 percent of total food demand in 2030. Filling this expanding food gap by 2030 will require improved cultivation and livestock practices, better quality and more precise inputs, selective expansion to high-quality agricultural lands and imports.

The African Union (AU) recognizes that increased productivity and agriculture-led economic growth are necessary for poverty eradication and food security. In 2003, the AU established the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) as a roadmap for raising agricultural productivity by at least six percent per year and increasing public investment in agriculture to 10 percent of national budgets per year. CAADP has created space for participation of relevant private sector players and is a model of a “home-grown, country-led and stakeholder-inclusive agricultural transformation agenda.”13

Development partners and the private sector have joined with many countries in the region to support their CAADP strategies that seek to improve research, development and the delivery of improved technologies and practices and to improve productivity and incomes throughout the agricultural system. Several examples of those collaborative efforts are highlighted in the agricultural value chain examples described later in this report.

To view additional regional dynamics in food demand and TFP growth from the 2012 and 2013 GAP Reports and to download fact sheets, please visit our website at http://www.globalharvestinitiative.org/index.php/gap-report-gap-index/

Figure 4: Food Demand Compared to Agricultural Output from TFP Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (2000-2030)

Africa Food Demand
The projection of agricultural output from TFP growth uses Fuglie’s (2013) estimate of average TFP growth during 2001-2010 and assumes this is maintained through 2030. The projected growth in food demand uses UN estimates of population, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) estimates of GDP growth, and estimates of the income elasticity of food demand from Tweeten and Thompson (2008). The income elasticity of food demand indicates the share of the growth in per capita income that will be spent on food.  Multiplying the income elasticity with the growth rate in per capita income gives the growth in per capita food consumption holding food prices fixed.  Adding this to the population growth gives the total growth in food demand for a given price level.


Executive Summary

The Global Agricultural Imperative

Producing More With Less

The GAP IndexTM

Spotlight on Sub-Saharan Africa: The Productivity Gap

Sources of Growth in Agricultural Output: Variation by Income

The Brazil-China Agricultural Connection

A Policy Voice

The Agricultural Value Chain

Policies in Action: Productivity Along the Value Chain

[1] Comprehensive Value Chain Programs

[2] Investments in Research, Science and Technology

[3] Building Local Capacity and Mobilizing the Private Sector in Developing Countries