Anthony Black and Reena das Nair present on agro-processing and inclusive agricultural value chains

SA-TIED online seminar

On 22 September the SA-TIED programme will host an online seminar on agricultural and agro-processing value chains. The webinar will be given by Reena das Nair and Anthony Black under the SA-TIED work stream on Regional growth for southern Africa’s prosperity.

Abstract: Agro-processing, value chains, and regional integration in Southern Africa | Anthony Black

Regional integration in Africa is underway but ongoing progress requires that the gains are widely spread. South Africa’s huge regional trade surplus in manufactured goods is already leading to protectionist pressures in neighbouring countries. Agro-processing is a large sector, which is widely regarded as having significant potential, but the export performance of the region has been quite poor if South Africa is excluded. Intra-regional trade is dominated by South Africa’s exports to the region. The share of processed goods in agricultural trade has increased but only modestly. Regional value chains are failing to include the small economies of Southern Africa. Constraints include tariff and non-tariff barriers, weak infrastructure, demanding quality standards as well as weakly developed local suppliers. Policies to promote the development of suppliers outside of South Africa are required along with more generic measures such as improvements in the regulatory and investment environment, and better infrastructure.

Abstract | Making agricultural value chains more inclusive through technology and innovation | Reena das Nair

Some entry barriers in agricultural and agro-processing value chains, particularly for smallholder farmers and small/medium-sized processors, can be overcome with innovation and technology adoption. Technologies and innovation in these sectors have been both radical and incremental, ranging widely through biotechnology; production technologies; automation in sorting, grading, and packaging; and digital platforms and data-connected devices for market access. These technologies have enabled farmers in Africa to increase productivity and quality; reduce costs; meet standards; improve access to finance, markets, and information; and facilitate payments. We evaluate the role of technology in South African fresh fruit and selected processed food value chains in facilitating inclusive participation, while highlighting potential adverse effects for certain players. Recommendations for addressing the challenges and building capabilities to adopt new technologies are provided, emphasizing the role for public–private partnerships and an enabling regulatory environment.