Development Account Projects
Strengthening capacities for the development of regional agricultural value chains in Africa
Regional strategic food and agricultural commodity value chains development and promotion processes that take into account the dimensions of climate change, food security and gender equity is an important concept for poverty reduction, as it implies a broad approach, embracing the complete agricultural system from planning to production to market. Programmes with an integrated value chain approach have a greater chance of success than interventions based on production or marketing alone. In the context of increasingly globalized agricultural markets, African countries need to form strategic partnerships through regional value chains that enhance investment, trade, marketing and food security.
Regional value chain development could also be one of the ways in which the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development process can be strengthened and the implementation of core activities under Programme pillars can be enhanced. For example, in order to accelerate growth in the agricultural sector, pillar 2 focuses on strategic value chains with the greatest potential to generate broad-based income growth and create wealth in rural areas and the rest of the economy. The main goal of pillar 2 is to strengthen the capacities of private entrepreneurs, including commercial and smallholder farmers, to meet the increasingly complex cost, quality and logistical requirements of domestic, regional and international markets.
Regional agricultural value chains integration can help identify efficiency gains that can be captured through integrated markets. One obvious efficiency gain relates to the fact that regional value chains are built on comparative and competitive advantages offered by two or more countries in an agroecological zone. This would result in economies of scale in the provision of support services and infrastructure required for connecting domestic private sector service providers to regional and global supply chains. The productivity gains arising from economies of scale and cost-saving arrangements are also likely to strengthen internal as well as external competitiveness of products and firms, leading to the creation of more jobs.
ECA will take the leadership role, but the process will be undertaken in partnership with the African Union Commission and FAO.
To strengthen the capacities of policymakers and other key stakeholders to develop competitive regional agricultural value chains in Africa
- Enhanced awareness and knowledge of policymakers and key stakeholders of the potential benefits of the regionalization of the livestock, maize and rice value chains in Africa
- Increased capacities of African policymakers to mainstream policy measures with regard to the development and promotion of agricultural value chains into agricultural policies within the context of pillar 2 of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme framework
- Strengthened regional collaboration and partnership initiatives among private entrepreneurs (including commercial and smallholder farmers, especially women) for upgrading their position within existing and potential agricultural value chains