Creating jobs in the rural non-farm economy, especially for women and young people, should therefore be a priority. 

In this respect, there are noticeable differences between Asia and Africa and, to a lesser extent, between various African countries in the manner in which the transformation is unfolding. In Asia, growth in agriculture has been accompanied by strong industrial development, whereas in Africa, it is linked to vigorous expansion of the informal sector. In the global competition with Asia, Africa is unlikely, now or in future, to generate new employment in industry on a large scale to absorb the farm workers who have lost their jobs.

So it is even more important that African policy-makers identify alternatives to industrial jobs within the global economy by creating an enabling environment for rural employment which utilises the regions’ endogenous potential and is embedded in the local economy. Here, a key priority is to support the development of an independent and efficient agri-food system, focusing on the entire agricultural production chain, both upstream and downstream, and encouraging the formation of complex value chains and wealth generation networks.