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While it is conceded that agriculture holds the greatest promise for Africa, unequal and unfair rules in the international trade regime have militated against this potential. For one, agri-business will mostly involve value addition which results to tariff escalation in developed countries as they prefer raw products. I'll give an example, Germany, the world's second largest exporter of processed coffee doesn't have extensive plantations of the same. A farmer in Kenya gets around $0.5 for a kilo of coffee beans which when processed can produce over 100 cups of coffee. One mug of coffee in a typical European restaurant costs $ 2.5. Question is, why can't the farmer just process the coffee and market it directly, or at least get a fairer price for it? I must however add that the mindset and argument of a conspiratorial west that is hell-bent on exploiting Africa has no place in today's discourse. This is because having realised what the problem is, it is incumbent upon us to fix it through open negotiations and reasoning. For one, Agribusiness has picked up very well in Kenya and is driving growth for farmers who previously made no income from it. Sectors like dairy products and fruit processing have seen increased growth in a few years. What we could do is seek to integrate SMEs and other small-holder players into global value chains through targeted support programmes like training on value addition and assistance in sub-contracting.

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