Contract farming opportunity in Africa
01, 2021, 22:44:09
Bangladesh’s initiatives for contract farming in African countries may seem a bit unconventional to many, but on a planet seen as a global village, they seem to be quite in step with the times and pragmatic. In fact, the country is far behind others, including its neighbors, by at least 10 years. While this country is taking the problem seriously right now, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt and some European countries were smart enough to foray into contract farming a decade ago. by receiving the invitation at that time. Bangladesh was also approached to seize the opportunity at the time, but perhaps hesitated due to its inexperience in such ventures and the weakness of mechanized agriculture. Fortunately, the country hasn’t completely missed the bus. Another opportunity presented itself with immediate offers to lease land from Sudan and Kenya. This time, the government would be impatient to accept the offers.
The advantage of contract farming for a country — whether it is direct government investment or private investment — is that it can choose the types of crops to be produced in the framework of such an arrangement depending on the demands in the country and also in the host country. African soil in general is useful for the production of rice, corn, onion and wheat. For a land-poor country with a disproportionate population like Bangladesh, contract farming on the African continent can be a golden opportunity. There are miles of fallow land on this continent and outside the two countries that now offer land leases, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Sierra Leone may well be the next agricultural destinations under contract under the two governments. and private arrangements. Thus, the country can reduce the pressure on its domestic soil to cultivate these crops experiencing a mismatch between demand and production. Obviously, wheat and onion are likely to be the top two candidates. But the staple food may as well be produced not only for domestic consumption but also for export.
With the growing number of mouths to feed and the growing threat of climate change, there is no choice but to explore such alternative pastures abroad. Bangladesh has also gained enough experience in cultivating exotic vegetables and fruits. When it comes to food, the country’s agriculture department has made remarkable progress. She can now rely on her knowledge, technology and experience to start farming businesses in foreign lands. To meet the challenges abroad, agriculture may need to embrace much more modernization and mechanization. The country must accept the challenge.
Already, many private investors have reportedly submitted their investment proposals in African contract farming. While parties with agricultural know-how and long experience in the sector are selected to take responsibility for agriculture in Africa with an eye on the mutual benefits of Bangladesh and host countries, businesses can make a significant contribution to food security on both sides. Risk factors notwithstanding, there is much to be gained from such cooperation between and among nations. In this case, Bangladesh stands to gain from the employment of agricultural laborers for contract farming in these countries. Such employment will furthermore give farm workers and employees a sense of migration with overseas jobs.