AU-SAFGRAD’ study on strategic agricultural commodities value chains development in Africa

AU-SAFGRAD’ study on strategic agricultural commodities value chains development in Africa


Agricultural production remains the mainstay of most economies in Africa. The contribution of the sector to household and national food security, employment and overall economic growth cannot be overemphasized. In realization of this, the Heads of States and government of the African Union has committed to the Accelerated African Agricultural Growth and transformation (A3GT) for shared prosperity and improve livelihood, as the flagship for attaining peace prosperity and progress in the continent. Africa Union-SAFGRAD in realization of its mandate in strengthening livelihood resilience has in the last two years been actively involved in agricultural commodities values chain development. The focus of the study is to identify actors and activities along the supply chains that raise transaction costs and result to low competitive advantage of agricultural commodities in Africa, with focus on the semi-arid zones. Our choice of commodities for the study is on produce with high food security and livelihood potential in the Member State (MS).

While acknowledging the disincentive to intra-African trade posed by tariff and non-tariff barriers, however, the initial engagements should be to have a competitive product. The study approach is therefore, based on the assumption that competitive national products and emphasizing local-for-local production are pre-requisites for boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities towards achieving goal V of the Malabo declaration.

This study focused on some selected (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan)MS in the Sahelo-Saharan zone (using the AU-MISAHEL structure) is the second of AU-SAFGRAD’s series of study on strategic commodities value chains development in Africa, the first study targeted MS in the IGAD region. Five national Consultants from the selected MS were engaged in July 2015 and participated in the methodology harmonization workshop held in Ouagadougou at study inception. The study relied on field level data collected from interviews and discussion sessions held with the primary stakeholders.

Analysis of chain actors’ strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) was done to identify the internal and external forces that impact on their activities. Also, attempt was made to analyze the gender relations of value adding activities, so as to highlight the power relations, along the maize and sorghum supply chain in each country.

The validation workshop is being held in Ouagadougou, 3-4 November 2015 with the presence of RECS (ECOWAS, IGAD, etc.), National Research Institutions (INERA), various International organizations (UNECA, FAO, IFDC, NEPAD, CORAF/WECARD…) and African Union Commission.