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Modernizing Africa’s Fresh Produce Supply Chains without Rapid Supermarket Takeover: Towards a Definition of Research and Investment Priorities

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  • Tschirley, David L.
  • Ayieko, Miltone W.
  • Hichaambwa, Munguzwe
  • Goeb, Joey
  • Loescher, Wayne

Abstract

After a burst of enthusiasm through the middle part of this decade regarding the supermarket revolution, there now exists a broad consensus that this phenomenon is likely to proceed much more slowly than once thought in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is especially true in fresh produce supply chains, where both the promise and the perils of supermarket expansion have received greatest attention. In nearly the entire continent, the so-called traditional marketing sector – open air markets, dispersed informal vendors, and traditional shops – is expected to play a dominant role in fresh produce marketing for several decades. If true, this finding has profound policy implications. Specifically, it suggests that private investment in modern, integrated supply chains cannot be relied upon to solve the multitude of problems that increasingly plague these traditional production and marketing systems over a time frame acceptable to most policy makers and donors. Public engagement, preferably through meaningful public-private partnerships and an accompanying re-definition of public and private roles, will be central to improving these systems. This paper first reviews the evolution of thinking on the supermarket revolution in Africa and presents empirical evidence from Kenya and Zambia. It then lays out a set of stylized facts and key gaps in knowledge regarding traditional fresh produce production and marketing sectors on the continent, and closes by outlining priorities for research and for public and private investment to modernize these systems in the absence of rapid supermarket takeover.

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  • Tschirley, David L. & Ayieko, Miltone W. & Hichaambwa, Munguzwe & Goeb, Joey & Loescher, Wayne, 2010. "Modernizing Africa’s Fresh Produce Supply Chains without Rapid Supermarket Takeover: Towards a Definition of Research and Investment Priorities," Food Security International Development Working Papers 93030, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:93030
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.93030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Weber, Michael T. & Donovan, Cynthia & Staatz, John M. & Dembele, Niama Nango, 2005. "Guidelines for Building Sustainable Market Information Systems in Africa with Strong Public-Private Partnerships," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11433, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Neven, David & Reardon, Thomas & Chege, Jonathan & Wang, Honglin, 2005. "Supermarkets And Consumers In Africa: The Case Of Nairobi, Kenya," Staff Paper Series 11584, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Tschirley, David L. & Muendo, Kavoi Mutuku & Weber, Michael T., 2004. "Improving Kenya's Domestic Horticultural Production and Marketing System: Current Competitiveness, Forces of Change, and Challenges for the Future (Volume II: Horticultural Marketing)," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55156, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    4. Tschirley, David L. & Ayieko, Miltone W. & Mathenge, Mary K. & Weber, Michael T., 2004. "Where Do Consumers in Nairobi Purchase their Food and Why Does this Matter? The Need for Investment to Improve Kenya's "Traditional" Food Marketing System," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54643, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    5. Bart Minten, 2008. "The Food Retail Revolution in Poor Countries: Is It Coming or Is It Over?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 767-789, July.
    6. W. Bruce Traill, 2006. "The Rapid Rise of Supermarkets?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(2), pages 163-174, March.
    7. David Neven & Thomas Reardon, 2004. "The Rise of Kenyan Supermarkets and the Evolution of their Horticulture Product Procurement Systems," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22(6), pages 669-699, November.
    8. Dinghuan Hu & Thomas Reardon & Scott Rozelle & Peter Timmer & Honglin Wang, 2004. "The Emergence of Supermarkets with Chinese Characteristics: Challenges and Opportunities for China's Agricultural Development," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22, pages 557-586, September.
    9. Tschirley, David L. & Abdula, Danilo Carimo & Weber, Michael T., 2006. "Toward Improved Maize Marketing and Trade Policies to Promote Household Food Security in Central and Southern Mozambique," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56065, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Baker, Derek & Mtimet, Nadhem & Pica-Ciamarra, Ugo & Nsiima, Longin, 2016. "Consumers’ preferences for animal-source foods and retail outlets: The case of Tanzania," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(3).
    2. Woldu, Thomas & Abebe, Girum & Lamoot, Indra & Minten, Bart, 2013. "Urban food retail in Africa: The case of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Minnaar, Amanda & Taylor, John R.N. & Haggblade, Steven & Kabasa, John David & Ojijo, Nelson K. O., 2013. "Food Science and Technology Curricula in Africa: Meeting Africa’s New Challenges," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 183415, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    4. Fadiga, Mohamadou L. & Makokha, Stella Nabwile, 2014. "Consumer valuations of the quality and safety attributes of milk and meat in Kenya," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 1-15, April.
    5. David Tschirley & Thomas Reardon & Michael Dolislager & Jason Snyder, 2015. "The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 628-646, July.
    6. World Bank, 2013. "Growing Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 26082, The World Bank.
    7. Md. Jahangir Alam, 2018. "Transformation of Retailing in Bangladesh: A Holistic Approach," Journal of Asian Business Strategy, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 8(2), pages 38-51, December.
    8. Rosina Wanyama & Theda Gödecke & Christine G. K. Chege & Matin Qaim, 2019. "How important are supermarkets for the diets of the urban poor in Africa?," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 11(6), pages 1339-1353, December.
    9. Rischke, Ramona & Kimenju, Simon C. & Klasen, Stephan & Qaim, Matin, 2015. "Supermarkets and food consumption patterns: The case of small towns in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 9-21.
    10. Hichaambwa, Munguzwe, 2012. "Urban Consumption Patterns of Livestock Products in Zambia and Implications for Policy," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 132343, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    11. Tschirley, David L. & Hichaambwa, Munguzwe, 2010. "The Structure and Behavior of Vegetable Markets Serving Lusaka: Main Report," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 93006, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    12. David Tschirley & Thomas Reardon & Michael Dolislager & Jason Snyder, 2015. "The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 628-646, July.
    13. Thomas Vetter & Marianne Nylandsted Larsen & Thilde Bech Bruun, 2019. "Supermarket-Led Development and the Neglect of Traditional Food Value Chains: Reflections on Indonesia’s Agri-Food System Transformation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-18, January.
    14. Alejandro Guarín, 2013. "The Value of Domestic Supply Chains: Producers, Wholesalers, and Urban Consumers in Colombia," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(5), pages 511-530, September.

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    Keywords

    Agribusiness; Food Security and Poverty; International Relations/Trade; Marketing;
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