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Growth in high-value export markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and its development implications

  • Miet Maertens
  • Bart Minten
  • Jo Swinnen

During the past decades the global food system changed dramatically with increased trade in high-value food products, increased exports from developing countries, increased consolidation and dominance of large multinational food companies, and increased proliferation of public and private food standards. As a consequence, global food trade is increasingly organised around vertically coordinated supply chains rather than around spot market transactions. While there is consensus that these structural changes are profoundly changing the way food is produced and traded, there is no consensus on the overall welfare implications of increased high-value food exports and supply chain restructuring in poor countries. In this paper we discuss the income and poverty implications of expanded horticulture exports and changing supply chain structures for rural households in Sub- Saharan African exporting countries. We put together the economic arguments; distinguish different channels through which rural households are affected; provide evidence from three comparative case-studies on high-value horticulture exports; and derive implications for policy makers, private investors, and the development aid community.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 24509.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:24509
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  1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  2. Miet Maertens, 2009. "Horticulture exports, agro-industrialization, and farm-nonfarm linkages with the smallholder farm sector: evidence from Senegal," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 219-229, 03.
  3. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6889.
  4. Neilson, Jeff, 2008. "Global Private Regulation and Value-Chain Restructuring in Indonesian Smallholder Coffee Systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1607-1622, September.
  5. Aksoy, M. Ataman & Beghin, John C., 2005. "Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries," Staff General Research Papers 12228, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Birthal, Pratap S. & Joshi, P. K. & Gulati, Ashok, 2005. "Vertical coordination in high-value commodities," MTID discussion papers 85, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
  8. Barron, Maria Antonieta & Rello, Fernando, 2000. "The impact of the tomato agroindustry on the rural poor in Mexico," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 23(3), September.
  9. C. Dolan & J. Humphrey, 2000. "Governance and Trade in Fresh Vegetables: The Impact of UK Supermarkets on the African Horticulture Industry," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 147-176.
  10. 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, pages 767-789.
  11. Dave D. Weatherspoon & Thomas Reardon, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa: Implications for Agrifood Systems and the Rural Poor," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21, pages 333-355, 05.
  12. Barron, Maria Antonieta & Rello, Fernando, 2000. "The impact of the tomato agroindustry on the rural poor in Mexico," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 289-297, September.
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