Trade and agricultural policy reform for food security in tomorrow's Africa and Asia

Umar Mustapha, Richard Culas

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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In late 2007, the World Bank released its flagship annual World Development Report (WDR) that focused its attention on agriculture as a key instrument for development. The WDR report may be considered an indication of how agriculture went out of fashion in development circles, for which the world and indeed African and Asian continents are now paying the price in the form of food crisis that is continually shaping up. There are enormous sets of opportunities and challenges in Africa that call for more proactive agriculturally-based polices and more competitive trade terms. The Asian continent has been a key player in the world's agricultural sector, for example, China's agricultural sector is ranked the first in the world farm output and employs more than 300 million farmers. The Asian continent has also been offering diverse agricultural assistants to Africa through aids and exports of agricultural implements and food. This chapter's objectives are two; the first is that it assessed the impact of agricultural policies and trade across Africa and Asia, with special attention given to Africa where there are many trade barriers and agricultural policy distortions. Second, it proposed appropriate agricultural policies and trade synergy which may boost intra and inter agricultural trade in the two continents.The chapter made an in-depth analysis of the agricultural policies, trade and programmes in Asia and concludes that they can be used as learning tools which may help in shaping the ones in Africa. It argued that the main role of international agricultural agencies and institutions on agricultural policy and trade is to promote sustainable growth of the agricultural business by encouraging trading blocks and individual countries to adhere to the international agricultural policies and agreements.The chapter concludes that the current agricultural policy and trade terms in many African countries are major barriers that hampers development and hence need to be reformed .The Chapter put forward that the key elements of the agricultural policy reform in Africa and Asia should focus more on smallholder farmer and identified barriers to sustainable food security in the two continents which should be removed. It also put forward that trade reforms in both African and Asian governments should be very gradual because markets for staple crops are still poorly organized, remains uncoordinated, have excessive transaction costs and risks, and are subject to price volatility which negatively affects net buyers of food and hence negatively impacts on food security.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood security
Subtitle of host publicationQuality management, issues and economic implications
EditorsMaddox A Jones, Francisco E Hernandez
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781620817360
ISBN (Print)9781620817162
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameHunger and poverty: causes, impacts and eradication
NameFood science and technology


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