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Manufacturing can play a key role in sustained economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction in Africa. Agricultural machinery manufacturing can contribute to driving overall manufacturing, given the increasing demand for mechanization from Africa’s 85 million farms and the rapidly growing agro-food processing sector. But while agricultural mechanization creates large opportunities for manufacturing, harnessing this potential in today’s globalized world requires African manufacturers to compete with (low-cost) imports from today’s manufacturing powerhouses such as India and China. This policy brief presents insights from a study on the characteristics, opportunities, and challenges for local agricultural machinery manufacturers in four African countries, Benin, Kenya, Mali, and Nigeria. The policy brief is based on a survey among ca. 400 randomly chosen manufacturers which assessed business characteristics and opportunities and challenges. The survey was supplemented with qualitative methods (participatory mapping, key-informant interviews) to examine key factors and actors affecting the enabling business environment of local manufacturing – and to derive policy recommendations on how to make local agricultural machinery manufacturing thrive.

This Policy Brief is based on the study: Daum et al. (2022). Made in Africa. How to make local agricultural machinery manufacturing thrive. Published as Hohenheim Working Papers on Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development Nr. 014-2022.