In The News
Africa’s contribution in global agriculture trade has been visible over the past few years with an increase in participation of the continent in the international market as well as liberalised trade between nations within the continent. These steps have empowered the nation’s capability to provide food to the domestic population.
Statistics show that the 1960’s witnessed Africa as a leader in international trade, post which the nation’s supremacy in the global arena gradually declined and agricultural exports share reached a low of almost 1.2% of the international trade between 1990 and 2000. The past decade has been supportive of the agribusiness in Africa and the share of the continent in international market exports have increased to 3.3%. Also, intra-continent trade has risen considerably; approximately 34% of agriculture produce generated within the continent are sold among other nations within the continent.
These statistics are relevant as they are crucial factors in determining that the local population is resilient and shielded from untimely financial shocks and other crisis.
The need for policy and process reforms
Reports state the correlations between efficient infrastructure and trade performance of the continent. With growing opportunities in linking with domestic and international markets, improved infrastructure and economic stability, Africa is once again gaining strength in the global market.
Variety affects trade in a positive manner. During the 1990’s, 51 % of African agri- exports constituted of the top ten food products, whereas during the past decade the statistics have shown that these products made up only 40% of the overall exports. This shows that African markets have developed in a small time frame and increased competitiveness.
Along with economic growth, population growth has taken place at a higher rate over the past years. This has forced an increase in imports of agriculture produce when compared to exports. The agriculture trade deficit rose from USD 1 billion to about 40 billion. This in turn stresses the need for reforms in strengthening the trade market and defining a common policy for trade.