Working Papers

Agricultural production in the tripartite region

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01 Mar 2011

Author(s): Ron Sandrey and Nick Vink

tralac has been collaborating with the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) in South Africa during the past year on a project which focuses on the proposed Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA). The Tripartite FTA is envisaged to consist of the 26 member states of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), establishing a free trade area stretching from Cape to Cairo. The research papers focus on different aspects of the trade in goods agenda; including a review of intra-African trade and agri-business development in this region. These papers are included in a book, entitled Cape to Cairo – an Assessment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area.

A special emphasis in this project is given to agriculture, and the objective for this chapter is to examine agricultural production trends in the region as a basis for the subsequent analysis. This analysis makes extensive use of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data. This paper starts by providing an analysis of agricultural production in Africa as a whole as well as in the tripartite region countries in order to place the tripartite countries in perspective before moving on to examine the individual countries and their associated commodities in more detail. The paper concludes with an analysis of undernourishment and food aid in the region.


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