Login

Register




Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Topics publications: Agriculture and commodities

Trade Briefs

Profiling the African Agricultural Value Chain: Basic and Gender Dimensions

The AfCFTA Secretariat, in a recent report entitled The Futures Report 2021: Which Value Chains for a Made in Africa Revolution, identified certain industrial sectors and sub-sectors as potential candidates for value chain development under the AfCFTA agreement. The broad sectors included in their list were agricultural/agro-processing, textiles and leather, automotive, pharmaceuticals, mobile financial services and cultural industries.

This Trade Brief looks at the broadly-defined agricultural/agro-processing/agri-business sector in Africa[1], from the perspective of the regional and global value chain dimensions. The intention is to present the basic value chain metrics of the sector, including gender-disaggregated employment metrics, as a precursor to several more extensive studies forthcoming from tralac over the next few months.


[1] Due to differences in aggregating sectoral industrial data, the sector has been defined as ‘the broadly-defined agricultural/agro-processing/agri-business sector’. The aggregate contains data for agricultural production; agri-business production, defined as ‘economic activities derived from or connected to farm products’ (BBVA, 2022) and agro-processing, defined as ‘the sub-sector of the manufacturing that beneficiates primary materials and intermediate goods from agricultural, fisheries and forestry based sectors’ (DTIC, 2022).


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

 

Working Papers

The new EU rules for citrus imports from South Africa: Background, applicable legal texts and processes, and the dispute declared by South Africa under the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Citrus fruits are one of the most important export products for the South African economy. The South African Citrus Growers Association (CGA) estimates that the country exported 158.7 million cartons of oranges in 2021, making it the biggest revenue earner in Africa from orange exports. The European Union (EU) is one of the main destination markets for South African citrus fruits, making up 40% of South African orange exports and 27% of its soft citrus exports.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) announced on 11 August 2022 that the South African government had managed to negotiate a settlement with the EU to clear containers of citrus blocked in EU Ports as a result of the EU’s recently-introduced phytosanitary measures on False Codling Moth (FCM). The EU measures were published on 21 June 2022, entered into force on 24 June 2022, and required that consignments arriving in Europe from 14 July 2022 onwards had to comply with the new requirements.

Taking the shortest sailing time to the EU, it meant that consignments that left South Africa on 24 June 2022, three days from the publication of the new measures, should have been certified in accordance with the new measures on leaving. The DALRRD assertion was that for South Africa to change the inspection and certification system within three days was unrealistic, considering what was needed in terms of adjusting systems and communication to the different regulatory sites. Its view was that a reasonable date for compliance with the new documentation requirements would have been for consignments leaving South Africa from 9 July 2022 onwards.

Updated: 16 August 2022


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Working Papers

WTO Farm Talks on Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes: Consequences of the missed deadlines for a Permanent Solution

Public stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes continues to be a contentious issue in the WTO Agriculture negotiations. While contending positions are put forcefully in the negotiations, there is limited research on the use of the Peace Clause. Since the Bali Ministerial Conference agreed on the Peace Clause in 2013, only India, which is one of the major users of PSH programmes has taken recourse in the Peace Clause. The Peace Clause protects the users of PSH programmes from legal challenges that emanate from breaches of countries’ allowable domestic subsidy ceilings. The use of the Peace Clause by India has strengthened the need and urgency to finalize the Permanent Solution on PSH. Some developed countries have argued that there is no track record in the use of the Peace Clause. They have claimed that the limited use of the Peace Clause suggests lack of interest in public stockholding programmes. They have also maintained that the method of calculating domestic subsidies used by the proponents of PSH programmes is incorrect, given that it is based on eligible production. They propose that instead of eligible production, total production should be used, which results in higher domestic subsidies. This proposed method includes other elements, resulting in inflated trade distorting domestic subsidies. The aforementioned methodology suggests that developing countries provide more trade distorting domestic subsidies than what is notified to the WTO.

This Trade Report argues that although the AoA has put PSH programmes under trade distorting domestic subsides, these programmes should be accounted for differently. PSH programmes are designed to provide food security to poor resources farmers and communities. Therefore, counting PSH programmes under trade distorting domestic subsidies defeats the purpose of providing food security. Additionally, the recent use of the Peace Clause by India underscores the need and the urgency to finalize the permanent solution on PSH.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Working Papers

Protecting Geographical Indications in an African context: The South African Rooibos saga and its aftermath

Geographical indications (GIs) are used to identify a good as originating in the territory of a specific country, or a region or locality in that country, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. GIs can acquire a considerable reputation and commercial value and for these reasons, may fall prey to misappropriation, misuse and counterfeiting. This is why it is widely recognised that they need to be protected. The GI category is generally recognised as a separate type of intellectual property (IP).

Broadly speaking, there are three major conditions for the recognition of a sign as a GI: It must relate to a good or goods, as opposed to say a service; the good must originate from a defined area; and the good must have qualities, reputation or other characteristics which are clearly linked to its geographical origin.

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is one of several Cape fynbos plants that have traditionally been used in South Africa to brew tea and cure ailments. The Rooibos experience is a highly relevant topic for those taking an interest in Trade Law and IP Law and, in the South African context, there are a few questions which should be raised. Firstly, when and how the South African protection for the Rooibos GI will be updated to reflect the full set requirements set out in the EU’s entry of Rooibos into its register of PDOs? Second, will the lessons learnt plus the availability of a formalised mechanism dedicated to the protection of GIs (even if limited to certain products for now) will assist South African producers in their pursuit of GIs that will add value to their products. Thirdly, whether the precedents set in the EU (and now the UK), will assist South Africa in broadening the protection its GIs may enjoy in other parts of the world.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Trade Briefs

Agricultural Issues in the African Continental Free Trade Area

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to boost intra-African trade by providing a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the member states, covering trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy. It is widely anticipated that the agricultural sector would not only be the biggest contributor towards the success of the AfCFTA but also the greatest beneficiary, at least in the immediate to short-term. For the agricultural sector to make full use of the opportunities under the AfCFTA, a number of important issues need to be addressed. This Issues Paper aims to provide a short overview of the current and emerging issues pertaining to the agricultural sector in the AfCFTA, including key determinants and cross-cutting issues, with a view to highlight potential implications, challenges and opportunities and what is required for the sector to achieve its widely-anticipated potential.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Books

Monitoring Regional Integration Yearbook 2019/20: Agriculture and food security in Africa

If there is one thing which the current Covid-19 pandemic has done, it is to highlight the issue of food insecurity on the African continent and illustrate the interdependence of food (in)security on food production systems (agricultural production and the environment within which it is produced) and access to food (trade, tariff and non-tariff barriers, prices and market conditions).

The pandemic and measures taken to curtail its spread have compounded food insecurity on the African continent. Food insecurity challenges were already evident due to previous and ongoing extreme climatic conditions (floods and droughts in southern Africa), pests (locusts in east Africa), civil unrest, slow economic growth and high levels of unemployment and poverty.

Lockdown regulations across the world have led to a decrease in employment, levels of disposable income and export-earnings and an increase in food waste, food price increases and trade distortions leading to a decrease in access to food, increasing food insecurity. Africa’s projected population increase for the next three decades will compound the continent’s food insecurity.

Given the current state of the food production system, the question is how will it be possible to improve physical and economic access to sufficient food, while also ensuring the sustainability of Africa’s food and agricultural systems? If these systems remain stagnant in a changing world, persistent food insecurity is highly likely. Efficiency and sustainable food production can be improved through the uptake of new technologies and production methods. Addressing fragmented agricultural markets through regional integration efforts (reducing high agriculture and food tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and improving cross-border trade) can enable Africa to feed its growing population. Sustainable production and food systems that are more productive and less invasive on the natural environment are important to improve access of food across the continent.

This book covers various topics related to agriculture and food security challenges faced by African countries. Africa’s population has been increasing and is estimated to reach 1.2 billion by 2050. With the population increase there have been significant changes in the pattern of consumption, but undernourishment in Africa is still prevalent. To improve food security and alleviate malnutrition requires an increase in access to food. More food production will require increased land and other agricultural input use, or increasing productivity or greater imports. However, the supply of land and agricultural inputs is finite. In the long-term, regional integration efforts and technology investments can make the most practical contributions to alleviate food security concerns. Under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to intra-Africa food trade, trade facilitation measures and the promotion of investment in agricultural development, innovation and technology will increase access to food. Technology, including changes in agricultural management practices, irrigation technologies, alternative crop breeding strategies, drones and satellites can increase the productivity of existing resources by increasing yields and feeding the population in a sustainable manner.


© 2020 tralac and The Government of Sweden

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

The support of The Government of Sweden in the publication of this book is acknowledged. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) does not necessarily share the views expressed in this material. Responsibility for its contents rests entirely with the authors.

Books

Africa’s Production and Trade: Agriculture and minerals

Africa as a continent has extensive potential, not only to feed itself and alleviate hunger and food insecurity, but also to be an important exporter to global food markets. Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries, and as a sector it can contribute to crucial continental priorities such as alleviating poverty and hunger, boosting intra-African trade and investments and job creation.

However, few appreciate just how low the productivity is in the agricultural sector in most of the countries across Sub-Sahara Africa. Equally worrying is that this situation has not improved in many countries over the last 50 or so years, and indeed for several countries the situation is getting worse. This has major implications for industrial development across the continent, as Africa has not been able to duplicate the Asian growth model of transferring resources out of agriculture and placing them into export-oriented manufacturing. When read in conjunction with other measures it becomes apparent that a modern agricultural sector is generally not in place across the continent, and this similarly places restrictions on promoting an export-oriented agricultural sector. That Africa is a poor continent where subsistence agriculture is widespread is well known, and this is confirmed in this collection of studies.

The collection of chapters in this book present the profile and performance of agricultural production and trade in most of the major African countries over recent years. The book is intended to be an ‘umbrella’ – to be used as a platform to enable a more comprehensive country-by-country analysis to be undertaken, but it also contributes to a better understanding of the profiles.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Trade Briefs

African production and exports of grapes and grape products in perspective

This trade brief examines the African production and export of grapes and grape products – namely fresh grapes, dried grapes, grape juice, wine, and fortified wines. In tonnage, China is the leading global producer while South Africa is the leading African producer, ranking 11th in the world. The only other African countries of significance are those north African countries bordering the Mediterranean.

The pattern of African grape product exports varies from the international profile – which has seen a dramatic rise in countries such as China and India in recent years – in that wine as a percentage of the total has declined from 62% in the first few years of this century to be marginally under half in the last four years. Fresh grapes have supplanted wine as the main export.

African grape product exports have represented between 3.3% to 3.9% of the global total this century, with South Africa completely dominating these exports. The EU is the destination of most of these grape product exports, but its relative importance is declining.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Working Papers

The production and export profiles of oil and mineral products from Africa

It is well known and generally accepted that Africa is heavily reliant on the export of fuels and minerals. The objective of this paper is to examine just how dependent the continent is on these exports (by commodities and countries). In order to do this, a trade classification has been developed which encompasses these products. For the purpose of further examination, the following eight sector groups have been selected: oil products, coal products, gold, copper, diamonds, platinum, iron ore, and aluminium.

Over the 2001 to 2017 period, oil has dominated African mineral/fuel exports. The next five commodities (coal, gold, copper, diamond and platinum) have similar export profiles, while iron ore and aluminium are less important to the continent. The selected grouping represents between 93% and 95% of all wider African mineral/fuel exports, and in turn these commodity exports represent about a 65% share of African global merchandise exports. There is also a suggestion that the concentration is increasing marginally over time.

By aggregate commodity and export destinations, the European Union (EU) has consistently been the main market, while China is gaining market share and the United States (US) is losing destination share. In future tralac publications, each of the eight sectors will be examined in sequence to provide a more detailed analysis which includes some background on production relative to the respective world profiles.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Working Papers

African agricultural production

In a recent tralac publication, Agriculture and the African Continental Free Trade Area, Sandrey et al. (2018) outlined just how many African economies continue to rely on agriculture. However, the issue of low agricultural productivity (net production per capita) in many sub-Saharan African countries has not improved significantly over the past several decades and in some countries, the situation is deteriorating. This has major implications for industrial development across the continent, as Africa has not been able to duplicate the Asian growth model of transferring resources out of agriculture and placing them into export-oriented manufacturing. A modern agricultural sector is generally lacking across the continent, and this places restrictions on promoting an export-oriented agricultural sector.

The objective of this paper is to lay a foundation for a series of analyses on the agricultural sector in the major African countries. The paper examines the geographical profile for the top eight African agricultural products by country, and then a further eight products for general interest. A profile of agricultural production in Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Ethiopia is presented, as well as the main livestock producers by country.

The conventional wisdom was that resources needed to be moved out of agriculture to ensure development, but current thinking is that perhaps technology in agriculture may be the key. While this paper does not explore this development issue in detail, it does provide a solid background of the African agricultural production profile.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

Contact

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010