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Monday, November 19, 2018

Growing Rich at Others Expense

Growing Rich at Others Expense

The Intercontinental Exchange on the New York Stock Exchange soft commodities market could not continue without Africa’s Coffee, Cocoa, and Cotton. However, this profit comes at Africa's economic and environmental expense.



Unroasted coffee is Africa’s leading soft commodities value export, cocoa beans are second and cotton lint is the third. The definition of a soft commodity is a resource that is grown rather than mined such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, maize or corn, cotton, and tea. African agricultural influences are far-reaching in the softs markets especially in the case of cotton, cocoa, and coffee.

Africa’s Top 10 most value exported soft commodities according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are in order cocoa beans, unroasted coffee, cotton lint, rubber natural dry, unmanufactured tobacco, oranges, tea, refined sugar, maize (corn) and unshelled cashew nuts.
Cotton accounts for $3.3 billion, the majority of the African country of Benin revenue


African Coffee, Cocoa, and Cotton


Ethiopia is the world’s fifth largest coffee producer and Africa’s top producer. Coffee is Ethiopia's principal source of income and the world's demand for quality coffee is increasing steadily. More than 15 million people grow the crop for a living, hundreds of thousands of intermediaries are involved in the collection of the crop from farmers and suppliers to the export and domestic market.

A sizable amount of foreign exchange, accounting up to 30% of the total yearly export income, is derived from coffee. Companies outside of the African continent do the work of roasting, packaging, retailing and other assorted workings in the coffee value chain. Africa does not benefit from the processing and manufacturing portion of the coffee bean, only the agricultural.

Africa produces well over 65% of the world’s cocoa beans. Many African countries now grow cocoa trees, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Congo, but the main producers are Ghana, Nigeria, and Cote d'Ivoire.


Cotton accounts for well over $3.5 billion, the majority of the African country of Benin revenue. The economy of Benin is dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. The top export is cotton around 40% of $8.3 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or $3.3 billion.



World growing rich at Africa's expense issues to think about


Digging shallow rough trenches in Ghana Africa
Digging shallow rough trenches in Ghana Africa


Many farming areas throughout Africa continue to experience limited economic gains and competitiveness. Poor infrastructure, lack of productive technologies, lack of access to inputs and weak institutions combine to hamper economic gains and competitive growth. 


Western Africa is projected to have over 23 percent of its agricultural and food processing output value generated from crops in 2050. This heavy reliance on crops for export economic gains will render developing economies more vulnerable to global economic abuses.


Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in fertile farming land. However, barely a fraction of fertile agricultural land is being farmed. There are three main causes of hunger in Africa, harmful economic systems, conflict, and an overexploited environment.


Control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power that typically ends up in the hands of a minority, who live well, while those at the bottom barely survive. Africa grows food for the world but does not profit. 


Africa faces serious environmental challenges, including erosion, desertification, deforestation, and most importantly drought and water shortages, which have increased poverty and hunger by reducing agricultural production and people’s incomes. Humans have caused many of these challenges; the environment can be said to be overexploited.


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