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Abstract

Some concerns relating to the demographics of the region as they impact on agricultural production were discussed. Traditional agriculture was in many instances on the decline. Competitive elements have been seizing the opportunity to supply the region through import substitution. Small and medium sized enterprises needed to be empowered by exposing them to state of the art technology and linking them into viable clusters, based on distinctive products, that could enhance their capacity to survive in increasingly globalized economies. This will necessitate both vertical and horizontal integration in the interest of arriving at viable economic entities to facilitate sustainable agri-business. The restructuring will require adjustments and infrastructure support from the Agencies operating in the Region. Development assistance must be goal aligned in the interest of optimizing the use of scarce resources. Governments of each state and stakeholders within will need to rationalize what they do and how they do it. Each entity will not be able to duplicate everything in each location. R&D, further processing and marketing, for example, may need to be subjected to a considerable amount of centralization. To this end the Agricultural Planning Agencies within each Government will need to interact on a regional level to a greater extent

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