Future of Wheat Production in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analyses of the Expanding Gap between Supply and Demand and Economic Profitability of Domestic Production
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Shiferaw B, Negassa A, Koo J, Wood J, Sonder K, Braun JA, Payne T., 2011. Future of Wheat Production in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analyses of the Expanding Gap between Supply and Demand and Economic Profitability of Domestic Production. Paper presented at Increasing Agricultural Productivity & Enhancing Food Security in Africa: New Challenges and Opportunities 1-3 November 2011, Africa Hall, UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/42076
Soaring international food and energy prices and the resulting volatility in markets is alarming many African policy makers. The domestic production of wheat in many countries suffers from lack of policy support and donor neglect resulting from the perception that Africa cannot competitively produce wheat. Given this background, this study examines the biophysical feasibility and economic profitability of rain-fed wheat production in selected Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. The biophysical crop growth simulation model was used to generate wheat yield under three levels of intensification (low, medium and high): using 0%, 50% and 100% of recommended fertilizer rates. The parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis showed significant wheat yield response. Across the selected countries, the wheat yield varied from 742 kg/ha to 3022 kg/ha for no fertilizer use, from 1482 kg/ha to 4149 kg/ha for 50% of recommended fertilizer rate, and from 1838 kg/ha to 4914 kg/ha for 100% of recommended fertilizer rate. The economic analysis also indicated that domestic wheat production can be economically profitable and could be competitive with imports in most of the selected countries. The net economic return per hectare varied from -224 US $/ha to 959 US $ for no fertilizer use, from -58 US $/ha to 1424 US$/ha for the use of 50% recommended fertilizer rate, and from 7 US $/ha to 1728 US$/ha for the use of 100% of recommended fertilizer rate. Thus, given the strategic importance of wheat for food security and the widening gap between demand and domestic production, African governments need to seriously consider investing in wheat production. The priority should be on utilizing existing varieties and technologies through improvements in seed production and supply, agricultural extension, marketing infrastructure to reduce the marketing costs, and improvements in agronomic practices are priority areas for ensuring competitiveness of domestic wheat production.