Why development of Africa’s agriculture markets matters

A farmer checks his crop in Kenya. According to a book called, "Towards Priority Actions for Market Development for African Farmers, improving local markets, alongside enhancing farmers’ productivity, is key to ending food scarcity across the region. Photo by: Neil Palrmer / CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture / CC BY-SA

Experts should look past efforts to boost agriculture productivity in order to solve Africa’s food security problems and prevent or mitigate future crises in the region, a recently released book says.

Improving local markets, alongside enhancing farmers’ productivity, is key to ending food scarcity across the region, according to the book. Titled, “Towards Priority Actions for Market Development for African Farmers,” the book is published by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and the International Livestock Research Institute.

It is important, the book says, for farmers to have greater access to better post-harvest facilities and more credit to be able move their goods more efficiently.

“African farmers face many challenges in the field and pasture, but they will continue to lack the means and the incentive to boost crop and livestock yields if we continue to neglect our underdeveloped agriculture markets,” AGRA President Namanga Ngongi said, according to AlertNet.

The book also highlights the need to address trade and related barriers in Afrian markets. Citing a World Bank report, the book notes that billions of dollars in potential earnings are lost because of failure to address nontariff barriers. These barriers also contribute to increases in food prices across Africa, it adds.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.