This report is the fruit of a collaboration between the International Food Policy Research Institute(IFPRI) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). It builds on the work by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) and the African Growth and Development Policy Modelling Consortium (AGRODEP) , both facilitated by IFPRI under its work in support of the African Union Commission’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programmes.
Key findings of the Report:
Despite recent growth in agricultural trade deficits, there are promising signs of export diversification, both in commodities traded and trade partners, as well as increasing intra-African trade in agricultural commodities.
Intra-regional trade in Africa is increasing rapidly the report notes, by 12% a year between 1998 and 2013, but is still low compared with other regions such as Europe and Asia.
The report identifies the need for governments to act to raise productivity along the value chain, reduce trade costs, and eliminate barriers to trade in order to boost both global and intra-regional trade.
Actions recommended include allocating greater public expenditures to agriculture and to agricultural research and development in particular, harmonising regulations and decreasing barriers to intra-regional trade, and providing an enabling environment for value chain development by strengthening market institutions and investing in infrastructure.
At the global level, efforts are needed to meet strict food safety and traceability requirements.