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Sub-Saharan Africa1 contains a total population of million people of whom million i.
The region is relatively well endowed with natural resources. Total land area is million ha, of which million ha are under annual cultivation or permanent crops2 - about one quarter of the potentially arable area.
In the region as a whole, the arid and semiarid agro-ecological zones3 encompass 43 percent of the land area; the dry subhumid zone is equivalent to 13 percent and the moist subhumid and humid zones jointly account for 38 percent.
Micro-livestock: Little-known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future 7
In West Africa, 70 percent of the total population live in the moist subhumid and humid zones, whereas in East and Southern Africa only about half the population lives in these areas. Despite the abundance of natural resources, the average Gross Domestic Product GDP per capita in constant prices was lower at the end of the s than in 4.
Nineteen of the 25 poorest countries 5 in the world are found in Sub-Saharan Africa and income inequality is high. In the region as a whole, an estimated 43 percent of the total population fall below either the international dollar poverty line or below nationally defined poverty lines.
In East and Southern Africa, it is estimated that rural poverty accounts for as much as 90 percent of total poverty. Although remote areas with marginal agricultural resources are poorer than other places, they have a low population density and hence account for a relatively low proportion of total poor people. Agriculture accounts for 20 percent 6 of the region's GDP, employs 67 percent of the total labour force and is the main source of livelihood for poor people.
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Although the share of agricultural GDP is declining in more than one third of regional countries, in a further one quarter it is actually increasing 7. In most cases, a declining share of GDP is the result of rapid growth in non-agricultural sectors, whereas increases in the contribution of agriculture to national GDP stem from either growth of agricultural value added or, more commonly, from declines in non-agricultural sector output.
Although Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for barely one percent of global GDP and only two percent of world trade down from nearly four percent in , international trade contributes a relatively large share of regional GDP. Agriculture is the dominant export sector for East Africa 47 percent of total exports , and a significant source of exports in other areas of the region 14 percent of exports in Southern Africa and 10 percent in West Africa 8. The region's main agricultural export commodities are cocoa, coffee and cotton.
In the region as a whole agricultural exports make up 16 percent of total exports, while agricultural imports - mainly cereals - account for around 11 to 15 percent of total imports. During the past three decades, the region has suffered massive losses from the erosion of its share of world trade, aggravated by substantially worsening terms of trade.
In the next sub-section of this Chapter, the major regional farming systems are briefly described. After a discussion of region-wide trends influencing the evolution of these systems, the principal systems are described.
The final section summarises the strategic priorities for the region. For the purpose of this analysis, 15 broad farming systems have been identified see Map 9.
The main characteristics of the major farming systems, including the land area and agricultural population as a proportion of regional totals, principal livelihoods and the prevalence of poverty, are shown in Table 2. The Urban Based Farming System is not mapped. A brief description of each farming system appears in the following paragraphs, and five are analysed in greater depth in subsequent sections.
This farming system comprises large-scale irrigation schemes such as the Gezira Scheme in Sudan, extensive riverine and flood recession-based irrigation, West African fadama areas and the Wabi Shebelle in Somalia.
It covers only 35 million ha 1. The Irrigated Farming System is quite complex, especially in respect of institutional aspects. In many cases, irrigated cropping is supplemented by rainfed cropping or animal husbandry the Gezira is one notable exception.
Water control may be full or partial. Irrigated holdings vary in size from 22 ha per household in the Gezira scheme to less than 1 ha.
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Many state-run schemes are currently in crisis, but if institutional problems can be solved, future agricultural growth potential is good. The incidence of poverty is lower than in other farming systems and absolute numbers of poor are small. The system occupies 73 million ha three percent of the region's land area, but accounts for 10 million ha 6 percent of total cultivated area and supports an agricultural population of nearly 25 million 7 percent of the regional total.
The backbone of the system is the production of industrial tree crops; notably cocoa, coffee, oil palm and rubber. Food crops are inter-planted between tree crops and are grown mainly for subsistence; few cattle are raised. There are also commercial tree crop estates particularly for oil palm and rubber in these areas, providing services to smallholder tree crop farmers through nucleus estate and outgrower schemes. Since neither tree crop nor food crop failure is common, price fluctuations for industrial crops constitute the main source of vulnerability.
Socio-economic differentiation is considerable. The incidence of poverty is limited to moderate, and tends to be concentrated among very small farmers and agricultural workers, but growth potential is moderately high. Table 2. Rice, banana, coffee, maize, cassava, legumes, livestock, off-farm work. Banana, plantain, enset, coffee, cassava, sweet potato, beans, cereals, livestock, poultry, off-farm work. Wheat barley, tef, peas, lentils, broadbeans, rape, potatoes, sheep, goats, livestock, poultry, off-farm work.
Sorghum, pearl millet, pulses. Marine fish, coconuts, cashew, banana, yams, fruit, goats, poultry, off-farm work. Prevalence of poverty refers to number in poverty, not depth of poverty, and is a relative assessment for this region.
This farming system occupies million ha 11 percent of the total land in the region, accounts for six million ha 4 percent of cultivation and supports an agricultural population of 28 million 7 percent of the region. Farmers practice shifting cultivation; clearing a new field from the forest every year, cropping it for 2 to 5 years first cereals or groundnuts, then cassava and then abandoning it to bush fallow for 7 to 20 years.
With increasing population density, however, the fallow periods are progressively being reduced. Cassava is the main staple, complemented by maize, sorghum, beans and cocoyams. Cattle and small ruminant populations are low, as is human population density.
Physical isolation plus lack of roads and markets pose serious problems. Forest products and wild game are the main source of cash, which is in very short supply because few households have cash crops and market outlets are distant.
Poverty is extensive, and in places very severe. Agricultural growth potential is moderate, thanks to the existence of large uncultivated areas and high rainfall, but yield increases in the near future are expected to be modest.
Development requires careful management of environmental risks, including soil fragility and loss of wildlife habitats. This farming system is located in Madagascar - mostly in the moist subhumid and humid agro-ecological zones.
It accounts for only 31 million ha of land area and 2.
How Lubega earns shs. 150m per month from his farm
Though farm size is small, there is a significant amount of irrigation - equivalent to 10 percent of the region's total irrigated area. Banana and coffee cultivation is complemented by rice, maize, cassava and legumes. Cattle numbers are relatively low. Poverty is of moderate prevalence. From a resource and climatic perspective the agricultural growth potential is high. However, actual agricultural growth and the poverty reduction potential are both considered fairly low in the short term, due to small farm size, shortage of appropriate technologies, and poor development of markets and off-farm activities.
This farming system, found in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, covers 32 million ha only 1 percent of the land area of the region, mostly in the subhumid and humid agro-ecological zones, but accounts for 6 million ha 4 percent of the cultivated area and has an agricultural population of 30 million 8 percent of the regional total.
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This system supports the highest rural population density more than one person per ha of land in the region. Land use is intense and holdings are very small average cultivated area per household is just under one ha, but more than 50 percent of holdings are smaller than 0. The farming system is based on perennial crops such as banana, plantain, enset 11 and coffee, complemented by cassava, sweet potato, beans and cereals.
Eleven million cattle are kept, for milk, manure, bridewealth, savings and social security. The main trends are diminishing farm size, declining soil fertility, and increasing poverty and hunger.
People cope by working the land more intensively, but returns to labour are low.
Poverty is high, both in terms of severity and absolute numbers. Despite favourable natural resources and climate, both the overall agricultural growth potential and the poverty reduction potential are considered fairly low, due to very small farm size, absence of under-utilised resources, shortage of appropriate technologies, poor infrastructure, and markets and few opportunities for off-farm activities.
This farming system occupies 44 million ha only two percent of the land area of the region and accounts for six million ha 4 percent of cultivated area, but supports an agricultural population of 28 million 7 percent of the total in the region.
Most of the system is located at altitudes between and metres in the highlands and mountains of Ethiopia. Smaller areas are found in Eritrea, Lesotho, Angola, Cameroon and Nigeria, generally in subhumid or humid agro-ecological zones.
Average population density is high and average farm size is small 1 to 2 ha. Cattle are numerous estimated population of 17 million and are kept for ploughing, milk, manure, bridewealth, savings and emergency sale. Small grains such as wheat and barley are the main staples, complemented by peas, lentils, broad beans, rape, tef in Ethiopia and Irish potatoes.
The main sources of cash are from the sale of sheep and goats, wool, local barley beer, Irish potatoes, pulses and oilseeds. Some households have access to soldiers' salaries Ethiopia and Eritrea or remittances Lesotho , but these mountain areas offer few local opportunities for off-farm employment.
Typically there is a single cropping season, although some parts of Ethiopia have a second, shorter season. There are major problems in the farming system: for instance, soil fertility is declining because of erosion and a shortage of biomass; and cereal production is suffering from a lack of inputs. There is, however, considerable potential for diversification into higher-value temperate crops. Household vulnerability stems mainly from the risky climate: early and late frosts at high altitudes can severely reduce yields, and crop failures are not uncommon in cold and wet years.
As with other food-crop based farming systems, a hungry season occurs from planting time until the main grain harvest. Poverty incidence is moderate to extensive - in comparison with other systems in Africa - except for the periodic droughts which afflict the Horn of Africa The potential for poverty reduction and for agricultural growth potential is only moderate.
The system accounts for million ha around 11 percent of the land area of the region, 28 million ha 16 percent of the cultivated area and 44 million 11 percent of the agricultural population of the region.
Rainfall is either bimodal or nearly continuous and risk of crop failure is low. The system contains around 17 million cattle. The prevalence of poverty is limited to moderate. Agricultural growth potential and poverty reduction potential are moderate; technologies for this system are not yet fully developed.
Nonetheless, market prospects for export of oil palm products are attractive, urban demand for root crops is growing, and linkages between agriculture and off-farm activities are relatively better than elsewhere.
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It accounts for million ha 13 percent of the land area of the region - predominantly in the dry subhumid zone - 31 million ha 18 percent of the cultivated area and supports an agricultural population of 59 million 15 percent of the region. Cattle are numerous - some 42 million head. Although the system shares a number of climatic characteristics with the Maize Mixed System, other characteristics set it apart, namely; lower altitude, higher temperatures, lower population density, abundant cultivated land, higher livestock numbers per household, and poorer transport and communications infrastructure.
Although cereals such as maize, sorghum and millet are widespread, wherever animal traction is absent root crops such as yams and cassava are more important than cereals.