Fostering inclusive outcomes in sub-Saharan African agriculture. Improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities
This paper (PDF) by IFAD looks at the role of agriculture in fostering inclusive and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses how improving agricultural productivity, smallholder access to markets and expanding agribusiness opportunities can accelerate transformation, investment and industrialization. The paper presents key investment and policy elements to be considered and points to the centrality of smallholders for the rural transformation process to be inclusive. Productivity improvements in agriculture as a whole and among smallholders in particular are very important at the beginning of structural transformation. At the outcome of the analysis two clear avenues for policy and investment emerge. First, there is the need to create the right conditions to facilitate the emergence of agro-industry. Second, it is important to promote smallholder competitiveness in high-value activities. Pertinently, opportunities for agribusinesses to benefit from interacting with smallholders exist across several agricultural value chains – from the sale of inputs, such as seeds and chemical inputs, to the procurement of outputs for processing or marketing into domestic or external markets. Furthermore, as consumer awareness around social and environmental dimensions of global value chains increases the need for value chains to be inclusive, fair and responsive to the needs of smallholders is greater than ever before, the authors state.