Agricultural Trade and Market Access for Food Security Africa: research on how to solve and overcome issues

Agri-food markets in Africa are not well integrated at local, regional an international level, with trade barriers hampering exports/imports as well as the value chain development. Trade via better market access has the potential to create income and welfare, while improving the food security situation, i.e. providing people in Africa with sufficient food of an acceptable quality level at fair prices.

A LEAP-Agri1 research project aims at providing insights into opportunities and challenges for expanding local, regional and international trade and market access, while considering supply chains from the African importer/exporter perspective. Specifically, they address trade and market access issues in three African countries (Senegal, Ghana and South Africa) and two African trade regions (Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and Southern Africa Development Community, SADC) and EU-Africa trade relations. The focus is on three product categories that are important for current and potential African trade: fresh fruits and vegetables, grain products & meat.

A Long term EU – Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable Agriculture project, funded by AU and EU partners.

For the countries/regions and products it is investigated how trade and market access is influenced by trade agreements, non-tariff measures, e.g. sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barrier to trade and customs procedures and private standards, price trends and volatility, market logistics/infrastructure and institutions. The project will be finalised in 2022.

Kick-off at the Hatfield campus of the University of Pretoria

In the project, African and European researchers work in close collaboration so as to facilitate exchange and generate common contributions that help improve trade relations and market access in the interest of both Africa and Europe. The project is managed by Prof. Bernhard Brümmer from the University of Göttingen (D), for Wageningen University & Research (WUR) Dr. Marie-Luise Rau is the principle investigator. From South Africa Prof. Ferdi Meyer (UP) and Prof. Dr. Johann Kirsten (SUN) are involved. The Dutch Fresh Produce Centre (GroentenFruitHuis) is an associated partner representing the private sector and trade business perspective.

On 13 & 14 February, a kick-off meeting was held in Pretoria.

1A Long term EU – Africa research and innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable Agriculture project, funded by AU and EU partners

From left to right: Gert Mulder (Director) of the Dutch Fresh Produce Centre, Jack Vera Agricultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Pretoria, Marie-Luise Rau from WUR