Home Forums African Products Showcasing WHAT FOODS DOES AFRICA EXPORTS

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    Kesta Jude

      Due to Africa’s growing sectors, Africa is however becoming a respectable continent in the world. This can however be seen in countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Angola which are fast growing economically.



      Agriculture thus is the largest sector in the continent and also takes 15 percent of the whole continent GDP (gross domestic product). Nigeria and Egypt make up one-third of Africa’s total agricultural output. Africa which has the potential of seeing more agricultural output yearly however sees 2.5 percent per year.



      Africa concentrating on Agriculture to eradicate poverty as well as exporting the surplus food to the rest of the world is not happening because of some problems like infrastructural, technical and institutional. Africa food export has remained stagnant compared to food imports. The more Africa exports food, the more it imports food.



      Agricultural sector is the most important economic sector in Africa. It is not only important but it provides employment for about two-thirds of Africa’s working population. For each country, it contributes an average of 30 to 60 percent of GDP and about 30 percent of the value of exports. six percent of Africa’s total land area are occupied with crops. Apart from these countries with sizable populations of European descent like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya in which their farming has been greatly confined to subsistence farming. They have been largely dependent on the inefficient system of shift cultivation. In this process, land is temporarily cultivated with simple farm implements until its fertility decreases and then deserted for a period of time to allow the soil to regenerate.



      Let’s take a look at the cash crops produce in Africa;



      Cereals and grains


      Africa produces all the grains crops such as corn, wheat, and rice. Corn has the widest distribution, being grown in virtually all ecological zones. Highest yields of crop plants per acre are recorded in Egypt, areas where agricultural production is under irrigation. In the savanna regions of the Africa, Millet and sorghum are also primarily produced. With the areas of rapid urbanization, Rice production and consumption have become increasingly important and are closely associated. Egypt, Tanzania, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Madagascar and Ivory Coast are the most important rice-producing countries in Africa. South Africa was once restricted from producing Wheat to the countries of the Northern Africa and the highland zones of Ethiopia and Kenya.  However, the new directives of farming (under irrigation) have extended cultivation to countries in the savanna region such as Nigeria. Others are Legumes, fiber, tubers and root crops. These crops are produced and mostly distributed among African countries.


      Africa’s food exports comprise coffee, cocoa, tea. Spices, fruits, vegetables, oil, sugar and beverages. These foods cover an important share in agricultural food exports. Let’s take a look at food products that generate revenue for Africa;





      Kenya is one of the most successful exemplifications of the addition of smallholders’ farmer in the tea value chain and this is owing to their efforts in processing and marketing stages. With half a million deriving their livelihood from this production, this country accounts for 70 percent of its national tea. Kenya does not only produce tea for primary consumptions. It however between 2015 to 2017 accounts for 20 percent of global tea exports and thereby making Kenya leading Africa country as the world’s largest tea exporter. Overall, the intra-African accounts for roughly 25 percent of tea exports from Africa. In comparison to Kenya, Malawi is the second tea exporter in the continent. In 2020, Kenya sold tea for 1.45 billion U.S dollars while Malawi 82.4 million U.S dollars.






      Around 2019, Europe was the key cocoa export partner of Africa. In that same year, Africa accounted for 70 percent of cocoa it exported to Europe. America also is the second leading cocoa export partner of Africa. Africa’s participation in the cocoa value chain makes the continent economy sector grow. Most cocoa-producing countries supply raw materials and semi-processed intermediates directly to developed markets. For example, Egypt and South Africa – supply final chocolate products for their domestic and sub regional markets, but predominantly source their intermediate inputs from outside the continent. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana were Africa’s leading cocoa exporters around 2020. These countries exported cocoa worth 5 billion U.S dollars and 3 billion U.S dollars respectively and this pushed them to the first and third cocoa exporters in the world. Cameroon and Nigeria are other large cocoa exporters in Africa.





      In 2020, Beverages exportation from Africa were valued around 1.5 billion U.S dollars Beverages includes spirit and Vinegar. South Africa is the leading beverages exporter in Africa. South Africa export value is 1.1 billion U.S dollars approximately. Zambia is however the second leading beverages exporter in Africa in comparison to South Africa. They sold 88 million U.S dollars in the international market.




      These are perishable items. Africa fruits and vegetables are only in demands during seasons that they cannot be grown in Europe. These are the lists of Vegetables that are commonly exported from Africa. These includes asparagus, snow peas, fine beans, round beans, baby carrots, baby corn, hard-shell garden peas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, chilies, and globe artichoke. Fruits that are exported from Africa include Avocado, passion fruit, mango and pineapple make up the bulk of the fruit export. These are the countries Africa exports their fruits and vegetables to Netherlands, United Kingdom, Vietnam, United States and India.





      South Africa In 2020 exported raw sugar to the international market at the value of exported $378M   making it the leading sugar exporter in Africa and the 12th largest exporter of sugar in the world. This also is the 33rd product exported from South Africa. However, in 2021, the exports of raw sugar decreased.



      PALM OIL


      Africa exports palm oil at the estimated value of 2.1 billion U.S dollars in 2018. Benin and Cote d’Ivoire was the major exporter. Ghana, Kenya, Togo and Seychelles are other exporters from Africa. . Benin and Cote d’Ivoire exported 460,000 metric tons and 200,000 metric tons that year respectively.

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