Concept art image showing important role pulses play in nourishing Soils and people especially in Sub Saharan Africa.

WorldPulsesDay 2024: Pulses in Sub-Saharan Africa and Three (3) Interesting Facts

Digital Concept Art Image depicting the nourishing impact of Pulses for People and Soil Fertility in Sub Saharan Africa

Celebrating The Power of Pulses to Nourish Soils and People

Digital concept art image interpretation of the theme of Pulses and Sustainable Agriculture in Sub Saharan Africa

1. Pulses and Sustainable Agriculture

Pulses are a cornerstone for environmentally sustainable agriculture due to their ability to biologically fix atmospheric nitrogen and enhance the biological turnover of phosphorus. They play a significant role in regenerative agriculture and bioremediation projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing significantly to the recovery of depleted land, and enhancing crop production, and food security

Key Fact: An estimated 65% of the arable land in Sub-Saharan Africa is degraded due to unsustainable practices, resulting in annual soil nutrient losses worth approximately US$4 billion. High-performing legumes or pulse crops can fix up to 300kg of nitrogen per hectare.

Digital concept art image showing Pulses re-energizing a malnourished person.

2. Pulses and Malnutrition

The population of the African continent is predicted to double by 2050, exacerbating malnutrition issues. Increased local consumption of pulses could significantly impact malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Key Fact: Local production of pulses in Sub Saharan Africa is expected to reach around 19.8 million metric tons by 2029 potentially improving nutritional health through increased local consumption. 

Digital art image showing a man working in a polyhouse for the cultivation and drying of pulses in Africa.

3. Greenhouse Production of Pulses

Pulse varieties such as cowpea, mung bean, and lentils are suitable for greenhouse conditions. This alternative production method can deliver increased yields, reduced water usage, and improved crop quality, which are critical success factors in pulse production.

Key Fact: Some completed projects across the globe demonstrate the feasibility of cultivating pulses like lentils and mug bean in polyhouses

Considering a Greenhouse Pulse Project?

Interested in a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Developing a Greenhouse Pulse Project? Make a charge-free inquiry using our consultation form on passolutions.com.ng.

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Navigating the Complexities of Agro-Processing Projects in Africa (1)

Summary

This blog post is the first of a series of three that discuss how project managers can navigate challenges associated with agro-processing projects in Africa. The focus of this article is on the development of business cases that accurately reflect the needs of the customer for processed food products. Agro-processing is an essential part of the agri-business value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing significantly to the region’s GDP. However, Agro-processing projects in Africa can be complex, and not identifying the right customers and understanding their needs can result in a waste of resources, low demand for products, and negative impacts on the local economy. To navigate these challenges, project managers can use the Base of Pyramid (BOP) approach, which involves identifying and creating value for low-income consumers while generating a profit for the business.

The Agro-processing industry in Sub-Saharan Africa.

First of all, let’s briefly explore Agro-processing in Africa. The Agro-processing industry is an essential part of the agri-business value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa. The industry involves the transformation of agricultural produce into value-added products such as food, beverages, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. The Agro-processing industry in Sub-Saharan Africa contributes significantly to the region’s GDP. According to the African Development Bank, the Agro-processing industry accounts for 10% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030. The market size of the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% between 2020 and 2025.

The potential value of the Agro-processing industry in Sub-Saharan Africa is enormous. The region has abundant agricultural resources, including land, water, and a favorable climate, which can support the growth of the industry. The industry has the potential to create jobs, increase food security, and provide income to farmers. Additionally, the growth of the industry can stimulate economic growth by creating a demand for goods and services, including transportation, energy, and financial services.

Agro-processing in Africa: Taking the first step

Although Agro-processing projects in Africa have the potential to       succeed, they can be quite complex. The industry is diverse, and many   different locales and cultures are involved. Drawing from our experience  at Projects Advisory services and Solutions (PasSolutions),   we’ll now share some insights on how project managers can navigate   the first critical step on an Agro-processing project i.e. Developing   business cases for project investments that correctly reflect the needs of  the customer for processed food products.

Business cases entail conducting market surveys and carrying out proper customer segmentation that will be used to justify the benefits in relation to the costs that will be incurred in installing an Agro-Processing project. Not identifying the right customers and understanding their needs when planning an Agro-business investment can lead to:

  1. Waste of Resources: Agro-processing projects that do not correctly reflect the needs of the customer for processed food products may result in the waste of resources, including time, money, and other inputs. This could lead to a significant financial loss for the investors and a lack of economic development for the countries involved.
  2. Low Demand for Products: Projects that are not based on the actual needs of the customers may result in the production of goods that are not in demand. This could lead to a situation where there is an oversupply of goods, which may lead to a price crash, lower profits, and low returns on investment.
  3. Negative Impact on the Local Economy: When Agro-processing projects fail, it could have a ripple effect on the local economy. This could lead to a loss of jobs, reduced income for farmers, and negative impacts on the supply chain.

There are numerous examples in Sub-Sahara Africa of promising Agro-processing initiatives that failed because they mishandled this critical business case step:

Nigeria: A fruit processing project in Nigeria failed due to a lack of proper market research and a poorly conducted feasibility study. The project was not designed to meet the actual needs of the customers, leading to a low demand for the product.

Ghana: A cassava processing project in Ghana failed due to a lack of proper planning and management. The project was not properly aligned with the needs of the market, leading to low demand for the product.

Botswana: A tomato processing project in Botswana failed due to a lack of proper market research and a poorly conducted feasibility study. The project was not designed to meet the actual needs of the customers, leading to a low demand for the product.

Kenya: A mango processing project in Kenya failed due to a lack of proper planning and management. The project was not properly aligned with the needs of the market, leading to low demand for the product.

South Africa: A canned fish project in South Africa failed due to a lack of proper market research and a poorly conducted feasibility study. The project was not designed to meet the actual needs of the customers, leading to a low demand for the product.