Farming in Africa: Tradition of eating local food and the competition from the global food markets

 Farming in Africa: A tradition of eating local food

Many centuries ago, all over the world, people only ate food that was grown locally.

Today, in most parts of Africa, people still have a tradition of eating local foods. Africans eat what they grow or what their close neighbors grow – as long as there is sufficient rain and that there are no natural disasters like drought and flooding that can destroy food. If someone does not grow their own food, it’s because they probably know someone who does it and they can buy from them personally or at the village market. However, if you have more disposable income, then you might have some additional like spices, drinks, supplements etc.

Modern farming: Desire to eat complex meals from a global food market

The modern agricultural revolution in developed countries has enabled the availability of greater variety of food to consumers from around the globe. Adoption of improved farming technology and international transportation has enabled the production and distribution of food surpluses to people from one corner of the globe to another. Farmers no longer produce what they eat, but what the world eats!

As Africa progresses, consumers are starting to embrace the culture of buying food from supermarkets that have gathered selections of food products from millions of farms from around the globe, instead of buying directly from local farmers. This is good news for the consumer, but may be bad news for the African farmer, who must now compete in a global food market instead of a local one.

As Africa moves into the future, consumer's food choices are expected to become more complex, and only a global food supply chain will meet this need.

And my questions to you are:

1. Do you think that the desire by Africans to eat complex meals will the derail “eat local”, and hence cripple local farmers?

2. Forward-thinking: How should the African farmers position themselves to compete in a global food market (stake on quality or quantity)?

Drop a comment!