Transforming Sub-Saharan Africa’s Agriculture through Agribusiness Innovation
Keywords:Agribusiness, incubators, entrepreneurship, innovation, technology transfer, technology commercialization.
AbstractAgribusiness offers promising opportunities to accelerate Africa’s agricultural sector development, increase food security, address poverty, youth employment and drive agriculture-led economic growth. This desk research offers a snapshot of the agribusiness activities in Africa with emphasis on the contribution of higher education institutions that are members of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and selected public universities in Ghana. Our review shows that agribusiness yet in its infancy is gaining traction and longer-term prospects are promising based on initial success and encouraging outcomes in some countries. Various initiatives are taking place in the region, including agribusiness incubation; capacity building, education, and agribusiness knowledge transfer programs at different levels. Partnerships among stakeholders such as government, international groups and private sectors are also growing to boost and encourage better value chain management for agriculture across the African continent. A few RUFORUM university members are setting up the pace in terms of investments to nurture agricultural entrepreneurs through curriculum enhancement; intellectual property and technology transfer policies, and technology commercialization models for conventional and modern technologies through business incubation parks and spin-off companies. Some of the successes and milestones in agribusiness development have yet to happen in many RUFORUM members and in public universities in Ghana. Drawing upon published reports, scholarly articles, and our primary analysis, we highlight several key actions and recommendations that can inform policy and practice to expand and sustain the growth trajectory of agribusiness as a new developmental platform for Africa.
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