Agricultural modernization in the developing world is not going to play out as it has in the developed world. In markets characterized by large populations of small growers, the common farmer is managing a plot of land too small to justify investing in heavy equipment. Further compounding these challenges are small farmers’ lack of liquidity and access to capital.
And for much of the African continent, agriculture industries are made up of small-scale farmers with just a few hectares under management. This fragmentation means that growth in crop yields will continue to lag other parts of the developed and developing worlds. The real problem is the lack of access to a market for most of these small crop volumes. There is inadequate infrastructure and processing capacity for farm produce in many African countries. The lack of adequate storage leads to 30% of small-scale crop losses and also forces farmers to sell their crops at harvest time at lower prices, instead of being able to wait until prices rise again. Food wastage results from the inability to store any bumper harvests.